The Hamas terror group which controls Gaza slammed Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday, over his meeting in Ramallah with Israeli students, NRG/Maariv reports.
During the meeting, Abbas who heads Hamas’s rival Fatah, claimed that Hamas had "renounced extremism" and would accept a future peace deal between Israel and the PA.
The PA chief must not have informed Hamas of its supposed moderate attitude, as a spokesman for the group blasted the meeting, saying, "Such meetings reflect a normalization of ties with Israel, and only serve to improve their image in the world.”
“It is necessary to stop these meetings, which are indicative of the collapse of the positions of the Palestinian Authority,” added Hamas, according to NRG/Maariv.
Hamas and Fatah have been at odds since 2007, when Hamas violently seized control of Gaza, setting up a government that is independent of Abbas’s Ramallah-based government and cracking down on Fatah officials residing in Gaza.
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. That deal has yet to be implemented.
Abbas is currently engaged in peace talks with Israel, which Hamas has rejected. The movement has called on Abbas to work for national unity instead.
Sunday’s comments come two days after Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri rejected Abbas’s suggestion that NATO forces be deployed in the future Palestinian state.
During a rally in southern Gaza, Abu Zuhri declared that any international forces stationed in “Palestine” as a result of a peace agreement with Israel would be treated the same as “the Israeli occupation.”
Abu Zuhri called on Abbas to withdraw from negotiations with the United States and Israel, saying the talks only served to "terminate the question of Palestine and what is left of Palestinian rights and principles."