Top Hamas Official Faces Backlash After Calling for Palestinian Federation

Hamas deputy leader Mousa abu Marzouk reads verses of the Quran for the spirits of Palestinian martyrs during the opening of the National Palestinian Meeting on January 23, 2008 in Damascus, Syria. Oposition Palestinian factions gathered with representatives of Hizbullah and Iran, in a summit aiming to reform the Palestinian …
Salah Malkawi/Getty

A top Hamas official stirred a controversy after called on the Palestinian factions to establish a federal government in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Mousa Abu Marzouk (pictured), Hamas’ deputy diplomatic leader, told Alghad TV that a federal government would put an end to the split in the Palestinian leadership. Many Palestinian leaders responded by saying that Marzouk spelled the end of the two-state solution.

Jamil Mizher, a senior member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, said that Marzouk’s comments are “dangerous” and contribute to the perpetuation of the status quo, saying the goal of the government he proposes will be to run the internal conflict rather than a future state.

“It’s an attempt to evade the need to establish a unity government that would put an end to the split and prepare for a general election and start building what the occupation destroyed,” he said.

Fatah was also critical of Marzouk. Usama Alqawasmeh, the movement’s spokesman, said that it was an attempt to evade power sharing and perpetuate the split.

“Talking about a federation is even more dangerous than the Israeli plan for a Palestinian state in temporary borders,” he said.

Marzouk was the target of online mockery as well. The journalist Majdi Aesleem wrote: “You talk about a confederation encompassing Gaza and the West Bank as they were two independent states. Palestine is still occupied, does that idea mean that you failed to bring about reconciliation and now you seek to give the split a diplomatic and international rubber stamp? If Palestine becomes the 194th member of the United Nations, which of the two states will get to represent it, Gaza or the West Bank?”

Eiadh tweeted: “Clearly they have no idea what they’re talking about. Get your basics first and then start talking about a federation????”

Yousef Sarhan alluded to the difficult conditions in which Gazans live: “I’d like to tell you a new joke… Federation…. Lolllll… Now let me tell you an old joke… electricity…. Lolllll”