With preparations firmly underway for Annapolis where PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) is expected to sign an agreement with Israel, Hamas has all but issued a death decree against him.
The official website of Izz A-Din Al-Kassam Brigades of Hamas quotes its official spokesman Abu Obieda as saying, "Abbas is an enemy of the Palestinian nation."
Abu Obieda says the ongoing meetings between Abu Mazen and the Zionist entity which "carried out acts of slaughter", even as the "Zionist attacks continue against the Palestinian people continue," are proof that "Abbas and the people around him are not concerned with the suffering of the Palestinian people." Abu Obieda calls the meetings "a waste of time, that do not obligate the Palestinian people."
Abu Obieda further states that Abu Mazen's talks with Israel are designed to "stick a knife in the back of the Palestinian people and harm their resistance... They are therefore considered acts of treachery and treason against the Palestinian people."
The statement represents a frontal attack against Mahmoud Abbas and the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority he runs - and a warning to those counting on the upcoming U.S.-sponsored Annapolis Mideast summit. The Hamas terror organization, which currently governs the Gaza Strip that was evacuated two years ago by Israel, claims that Abbas has the status of "traitor to his people" for his continued contacts with Israel.
Arutz-7's Arab affairs expert Dalit HaLevy, who translated the website's message from the original Arabic, says the statement means Abbas is fair game for assassination, just as many of his aides and security forces were killed by Hamas in the June, 2007 takeover of Gaza.
Israeli officials continue to rely on Abbas/Fatah, as preparations for the Annapolis summit continue in high gear. The summit is scheduled for late November.
Hamas and Islamic Jihad are planning to convene an alternative "summits" at the same time as the Annapolis conference, to express their opposition to any agreement with Israel. Prominent Islamic Jihad leader Muhammad Al-Hindi announced Wednesday that the Arab factions intend to hold two alternative conferences, one in Damascus, Syria, and one in Gaza.