Hamas security chief: Deal with Fatah still on

Hamas official who was wounded in car bombing says reconciliation with Fatah remains on track despite the attempt on his life.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Hamas parade in Gaza
Hamas parade in Gaza

Hamas security chief Tawfiq Abu Naim, who was wounded in a car bombing on Friday, left the hospital on Friday and pledged that an agreement aimed at ending a decade-long rift with rivals Fatah would remain on track despite the attempt on his life.

Friday's explosion that moderately wounded Abu Naim was branded by the Hamas interior ministry as "a failed assassination attempt."

Abu Naim said in a statement on Saturday that "the objectives of those who committed this despicable act will not be achieved," reported AFP.

"We are determined to leave the split behind and realize the important national unity at all costs," he added.

Abu Naim said a November 1 deadline for Hamas to hand over border crossings to the Palestinian Authority (PA) would be adhered to.

While no one has claimed responsibility for the attempt on Abu Naim's life, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh on Friday signalled that Israel was to blame.

"Whoever was behind this crime, we think it is the occupier and its followers who are responsible," Haniyeh said. The term "occupier" is commonly used by Palestinian Arabs for Israel.

"Anyone who believes that this criminal operation can alter our resolve to achieve Palestinian national reconciliation is wrong," Haniyeh stressed.

Abu Naim is the second Hamas leader to be targeted this year in Gaza, after military commander Mazen Faqha was shot dead near his home in March.

Hamas authorities in Gaza accused Israel of being behind his death immediately after it happened, and threatened to get Israel back for any action by Israeli security forces against Hamas senior officials.

The bombing in which Abu Naim was wounded came two weeks after PA Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah movement signed a reconciliation accord with Hamas, which has run Gaza for 10 years ever since it violently took over the region.

Under the deal, the PA is to resume control of Gaza by December 1.

The fate of the Hamas security forces after it transfers power to the PA in the territory is one of the most delicate issues facing the reconciliation process.

Abbas has ruled out the presence of militias in Gaza, while Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and other organizations reject this demand.