A former Hamas government spokesman revealed on Sunday that Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has said in private meetings he is lying in public statements to "trick the Americans."
The spokesman, Ihab al-Ghussein, wrote on Facebook that "behind closed doors," Abbas had said "when I go out and say that the government is my government and it recognizes 'Israel' and so on, fine - these words are meant to trick the Americans." Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) translated the Facebook post.
"Guys, let me (continue) saying what I say to the media. Those words are meant for the Americans and the occupation (i.e., Israel), not for you. What's important is what we agree on among ourselves. ...Don't harp on everything I tell the media, forget about the statements in the media," Abbas told Hamas, according to Ihab al-Ghussein.
PMW exposed that Al-Ghussein then laughs at Abbas in the post, adding "I really do want real reconciliation, meaning partnership and achieving unity, but not reconciliation as Abbas means it."
Al-Ghussein held his position as Hamas government spokesman until the new unity government between Hamas and Fatah was sworn in last Monday.
Abbas has insisted to the US that the new unity government would be controlled by him, and be based on what he called "the four Palestinian principles": recognizing Israel, recognizing the terms of international agreements, and the explicit rejection of violence and terrorism.
Despite the claim, three Hamas-backed ministers were sworn in to the unity government from Gaza via video feed. Further, Hamas continues to be adamant over its full control of the government, and said it would be subject to their approval before being established.
That approval power was proven when Hamas nearly scuppered the government the day of its swearing-in over a disagreement on the Ministry of Prisoners, which was resolved in a last second deal.
Hamas stated since the unity government was sworn in that it remains committed to its goals of terrorism and the annihilation of Israel, in contrast to Abbas's "four Palestinian principles."
Casting a shadow of doubt over how much the American administration is being "tricked" by Abbas are reports last Thursday from Buzzfeed, claiming that the US has been negotiating with Hamas for months, despite it's official policy against the terrorist organization. US officials denied the reports.