Hamas and other terrorists at Gaza news confe
Hamas and other terrorists at Gaza news confeIsrael news photo: Flash 90

Masked Hamas terrorists have released a statement threatening to target heads of the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority over an arrest campaign targeting their group. However, the heads of Hamas still plan to meet with Fatah in Damascus in an attempt to reconcile the two groups as joint heads of the PA.

Hamas has expressed anger over the arrest of dozens of its members in Judea in recent weeks. In addition, the group was infuriated when a PA court sentenced a Hamas man to 20 years in prison for firing on PA troops.

Hamas accused the PA of "treason" over the sentencing and of acting "like Israel."

Despite the dispute, spokesman Abu Obeida indicated that Hamas will attend a scheduled meeting on October 20 in Damascus. Obeida issued a warning, however, saying, "If Palestinian reconciliation is not able to prevent Fatah from taking these aggressive actions against the resistance, then no one will blame us if we target its leaders wherever they are."

Hamas and Fatah are to meet in Syria to discuss the possibility of recreating the Fatah-Hamas unity leadership of the PA that was in place until the violent Hamas takeover of Gaza in 2007.

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, the head of Fatah, may be reluctant to reunify with Hamas due to warnings from the international community. Hamas is regarded as a terrorist group by the United States and the European Union, and the PA, which relies on donations from the international community to cover its budget, was left cash-strapped as funding was cut during the time that Hamas held joint control.

The PA has since received billions of dollars from the international community, a situation Abbas may wish to see continue.

Also complicating the Fatah-Hamas reconciliation attempt is the fact that Hamas strongly opposes negotiations with Israel, while Abbas has agreed to peace talks. The PA chairman recently ended direct talks after Israel rejected his demand to freeze all construction for Jews in Judea and Samaria, but maintains that he is prepared to resume talks if his demand is met, a position Hamas vehemently rejects.