Statements by the two terrorist groups highlight the split in the Palestinian Authority and find Hamas and Islamic Jihad in rare agreement with Israel and the United States, although for contradictory reasons.
After Abbas delivered a speech Friday explaining his bid to the United Nations for recognition, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum ridiculed Abbas for “unilateral moves” that he said are part of a move to resume talks with Israel. Israel, the United States, and many other Western leaders have said the unilateral move, which violates the Oslo Accords, is designed to preclude any chance of direct discussions with Israel over the establishment of the Palestinian Authority as an independent country.
Barhoum explained that recognition by the United Nations would lead to acknowledging the existence of Israel and would abandon “the legitimate Palestinian Right of Return and self-determination.”
Islamic Jihad Spokesperson Daoud Shihab said that Abbas should spend his efforts on achieving unity with Hamas, which controls Gaza and leaves the Palestinian Authority a split entity.