Hamas Hits Back at Abbas for 'Unjustified Remarks'

As 'unity deal' flails, Hamas spokesperson condemns Abbas threats of split, says talks with Fatah on unity government forthcoming.

Ari Yashar,

Sami Abu Zuhri
Sami Abu Zuhri
Flash 90

Hamas responded officially on Sunday to Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's statements to the Arab media the night before in Cairo, in which he threatened to end his unity agreement with the Gaza-based terrorist group.

Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri told the Palestinian Arab Ma'an News Agency that Abbas should stop holding "dialogue" with Hamas through the media.

"Abbas's remarks against Hamas and the resistance are unjustified, and the sources of information and figures he relied on were incorrect and have nothing to do with the truth," said Abu Zuhri, calling the statements an injustice towards "our people and the resistance who made this great victory."

The talk of figures refers to Abbas's debunking of Hamas claims that only 50 of their terrorists had been killed in Operation Protective Edge, saying "in actuality over 850 Hamas members and their family members were killed."

Abbas's statement would support Israeli reports placing the ratio of civilian to terrorist casualties in the operation at roughly 1:1, an almost unprecedented achievement in urban warfare. 

Abu Zuhri added that meetings are to be held soon between Hamas and Abbas's Fatah faction to discuss the implementation of a unity government, after Abbas on Saturday accused Hamas of holding a "shadow government" in Gaza where the current unity government has no power.

"There are 27 undersecretaries of ministries who are running the Gaza Strip, and the national consensus government cannot do anything on the ground," Abbas said, referring to the Hamas government still ruling the terrorist haven.

The tension between Hamas and the PA has recently been boiling over, with Hamas on Sunday ordering its members in Judea and Samaria to resist summonses for investigation by PA forces; recently Hamas staged a failed coup attempt on Abbas in Judea and Samaria.

PA forces ready to deploy in Rafah Crossing

The clashing between the PA and Hamas comes as PA forces are preparing to start manning the Rafah Crossing from Gaza to Sinai as part of the ceasefire deal signed in Cairo.

A commander of the PA presidential guards told Ma'an News Agency on Saturday that a list of PA officers from Gaza have already been prepared to be deployed at the Rafah terminal and Philadelphi Corridor between Sinai and Gaza.

The officers are waiting for orders from the PA political echelon, and as soon as "orders are given, groups will be sent and reoriented." The troops are to undergo two months of training in Egypt.

There has been a large amount of smuggling through the hundreds of tunnels between Sinai and Gaza, which prior to the ceasefire had been effectively limited through an Egyptian siege.

Senior Sinai security sources revealed that a blast last Tuesday which killed 11 Egyptian soldiers near the Rafah Crossing was caused by an explosive planted in a tunnel under the city square. The reported cause of the incident, if true, may constitute the first "terror tunnel" attack on Egypt from Gaza.




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