Hamas defies Abbas, continues to function

1179.jpgThe deposed Palestinian prime minister from Hamas has defied Mahmoud Abbas, the president from rival faction Fatah, calling his sacking and declaration of an emergency “hasty” and pledging that his government will continue to function.“The existing government will carry out its tasks,” Ishmael Haniya said in a news conference in the early hours of Friday. “We will continue … with a national unity government.”

 

Haniya said Abbas and his advisers did not consider “the consequences and its effects on the situation on the ground” in sacking Haniya’s government and declaring a state of emergency. “President Mahmoud Abbas took premature decisions that betray all agreements reached,” he said.

 

Hamas forces routed Fatah fighters in Gaza on Thursday, prompting Abbas, who is in Ramallah in the West Bank, to declare a state of emergency and dismiss Haniya’s unity government made up of Fatah and Hamas representatives.

 

The declaration of an emergency in Gaza is unlikely have any effect as Abbas’s security forces have been defeated and the institutions of the Palestinian Authority overrun by Hamas.

 

He also pointed out that the security chaos in the Gaza Strip reached new heights when the presidential guards along with the so called Fatah’s executive force started committing crimes against residents of Gaza, executing people based on their affiliations, or growing a beard. They attacked mosques, killed clerics and even raided homes and nothing was done to stop them. “It was the actions of those militias which forced the people to react,” he said.

 

Despite his forces overrunning their Fatah rivals and taking over all security force buildings in Gaza, including the presidential compound, Haniya said Hamas had no intention of declaring a separate Palestinian state in Gaza without the West Bank.

 

“The Gaza Strip is an indivisible part of the homeland and its residents are an integral part of the Palestinian people. No to a state in the Gaza Strip only because the state is a whole that cannot be divided,” Haniya said. “We will impose security firmly, decisively and legally,” he said.

“I call on the police and the [Hamas] executive force to impose law and order starting this moment, and to protect the compounds and private and public properties.”

 

He sounded a conciliatory note by calling on “my brothers in Hamas to declare a general amnesty and to guarantee people’s lives”.

 

A quick reconciliation would be difficult as the core of the Palestinian Authority – the security apparatuses – had been undermined and Abbas had been humiliated further by having his presidential compound in Gaza seize by Hamas forces.

Meanwhile, the Fatah-linked al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades urged Abbas to declare martial law, urging its fighters to mobilise in the West Bank and consider any Hamas member an “outlaw”.

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