Fatah: Hamas Stirring Up Trouble in Egypt

Fatah spokesman: Hamas put its alliance with the Muslim Brotherhood before its concern for the "Palestinian cause".

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Dalit Halevi & Elad Benari,

Anti-Morsi protesters in Tahrir square in Cai
Anti-Morsi protesters in Tahrir square in Cai

Palestinian Authority factions Hamas and Fatah are at it again.

Fatah spokesman Ahmed Assaf on Sunday accused Hamas of being responsible for Egypt closing the Rafiah border crossing with Gaza. Egypt decided to close the crossing, he claimed, because Hamas had intervened in Egypt's internal affairs in favor of its parent movement the Muslim Brotherhood.

Assaf said that Hamas's position does not represent the “Palestinian people” and, in fact, causes damage to their interests. As well, he claimed, Hamas hurts the efforts "to end the occupation, establish a Palestinian state whose capital is Jerusalem and the bring about the return of the refugees."

Rather than spending millions of dollars on television and radio channels which fully support the Muslim Brotherhood against the will of the Egyptian people, said Assaf, Hamas should have made use of these channels to serve the “Palestinian cause” and avoid stirring up internal conflict in Egypt.

He also claimed that Hamas intervenes in the internal affairs of other countries such as Lebanon and Syria according to the guidelines of the Muslim Brotherhood, while ignoring the will and interests of the Palestinian Authority Arabs. Hamas leaders live in ivory towers, charged Assaf, while Gaza residents are paying the price of their policy.

Ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas’s parent movement which in recent months has been helping Hamas in its attempts to be removed from the U.S. and European countries’ lists of terrorism organizations.

Hamas and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah have been at odds since Hamas violently seized control of Gaza in 2007.

Washington has stood fast in its support of Abbas's Palestinian Authority as the legitimate representative of PA Arabs.

Fatah and Hamas signed a reconciliation deal in Cairo in 2011, pledging to set up an interim consensus government of independents that would pave the way for legislative and presidential elections within 12 months.

Implementation of the accord stalled over the make-up of the interim government, and a February 2012 deal signed by Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal in Doha intended to overcome outstanding differences was opposed by Hamas members in Gaza.