Hamas journal: The 'settlements' have multiplied

Hamas-affiliated journal criticizes PA for allowing "Israeli settlements" to increase since Oslo Accords.

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Dalit Halevi,

Construction in the town of Efrat
Construction in the town of Efrat
Gershon Ellinson/Flash 90

Al-Risala, a Hamas-affiliated Palestinian Arab journal, on Sunday published a video in which it sums up the achievements of the "Israeli settlement" in Judea and Samaria since the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993.

Highlighting the “Israeli achievements” is intended to illustrate what Hamas sees as the failure of the Palestinian Authority's (PA) political strategy.

The video showed photographs of the Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria, with the following caption:

"The number of settlers has increased sevenfold since the signing of the Oslo Accords. The number of settlers has risen from 111,000 to 750,000. The number of settlers in East Jerusalem has tripled in the last two decades. Their numbers in East Jerusalem before the agreement was about 100,000 people. Since the agreement, their number has reached 300,000. The occupation expanded the borders of Jerusalem to more than 100 square kilometers.”

"The occupation has allocated 42 percent of the West Bank to the expansion of the settlements, 62 percent of the settlement in Area C on lands belonging to the Palestinian Authority and set up the separation fence in 85 percent of the West Bank. Some 140,000 Jerusalemites live outside the racist separation fence, and the crawling is still continuing."

The publication of the video comes amid renewed efforts to reconcile between Hamas and Fatah, which is headed by PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

Last week, Hamas announced it was willing to hold talks with Fatah and dismantle the Gaza administrative committee, which served as a local independent governing authority.

Last Monday, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh and Abbas spoke for the first time in nearly a year, and Fatah officials have said they expect the head of the PA government Rami Hamdallah to visit Gaza in the coming days.

If the sides do reconcile, it would bring to an end a feud that has been ongoing since 2007, when Hamas violently took control of Gaza in a bloody coup. All attempts to reconcile the sides have thus far failed.

A unity government between the sides collapsed in 2015 when Abbas decided to dissolve it amid a deepening rift between the sides.