Fatah official: too early to talk about sending Arab forces in Gaza

RAMALLAH, Fatah movement’s spokesman in the West Bank Ahmed Abdel Rahman said on Sunday that it’s still premature to talk about bringing Arab forces to the Gaza Strip that is ruled by Hamas movement. Abdel Rahman told the official “Voice of Palestine Radio” that “before talking about bringing Arab forces to the Gaza Strip, we have to work on succeeding the comprehensive inter-Palestinian dialogue hosted by Egypt.”

Last week, Egypt’s Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit told the Saudi Arabia London-based Daily of al-Hayyat that the idea of deploying Arab security forces in the Gaza Strip “is attractive and needs to be thoroughly studied.”

Leaders of Palestinian factions, mainly Hamas rejected the idea.Deposed Prime Minister Ismail Haneya had said that instead of bringing Arab forces to Gaza, Arab forces must go to liberate al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

Egypt is mediating and sponsoring a comprehensive dialogue among all Palestinian factions and political groups. Egypt is holding bilateral talks with each faction to know their views on launching a general dialogue soon.

Following months of inter-fighting between rival Fatah and Hamas movements, the latter finally took control of the Gaza Strip by force in mid June last year.

Abdel Rahman slammed Hamas security forces and the way they rule the Gaza Strip, saying that “the way Hamas rules the Gaza Strip and the way its forces repress the residents, would keep the Gaza Strip completely isolated.”

According to a monthly poll conducted by the Ramallah-based Near East Consulting, 56 percent of the polled back an Egyptian proposal for sending Arab forces to the Gaza Strip to support the Arab efforts for making a reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah, while 44 percent rejects the idea. 

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