TEL AVIV – -Hamas won’t agree to discuss the issue of the weapons controlled by its so-called military wing, says Dr. Halil al-Hayeh, a member of the group’s politburo.
In a special press conference in Gaza addressing the crisis in the reconciliation talks between Fatah and Hamas, al-Hayeh called on “all the spokespeople and all the political elements to stop bringing up the weapons of the resistance. The topic isn’t up for discussion. No one will touch the weapons of the resistance. We won’t agree to discuss it and we’ll take action to put them in the West Bank to liberate it as well.”
Al-Hayeh accused elements in Fatah of trying to torpedo the reconciliation. According to the terrorist, his movement will continue to pursue Fatah to force it into completing the reconciliation. He also demanded the lifting of the sanctions placed on Gaza by the Palestinian Authority.
“Let’s move on to other issues,” said al-Hayeh, calling on Fatah to let go of the security clauses of the reconciliation talks. “The government needs to take responsibility for the Gaza Strip.”
Al-Hayeh’s comments were just the latest verbal escalation between the two sides. Azzam al-Ahmad, Fatah’s pointman in charge of the reconciliation, said that Fatah has no commitment to Hamas employees, referring to one of the most controversial parts of the reconciliation negotiations aside from security arrangements.
Hamas expects a solution to be found for tens of thousands of its employees who will be out of work with the PA’s return to Gaza, as happened to PA employees when Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip over ten years ago.
According to al-Ahmad, these Hamas employees need to return to their homes. “As far as we’re concerned, Hamas needs to tell its employees that they need to return to their homes and at the same time tell the PA government, please lead the management of Gaza.”
But al-Ahmad didn’t stop at this problematic declaration. He shocked many by adding that all the executions carried out under Hamas will be reinvestigated. “The executions carried out in Gaza weren’t legal and those who carried them out are criminals who need to be punished.”
During the years of Hamas rule in Gaza, many Palestinians were executed, mostly on charges of collaborating with Israel. Fatah claimed that these executions were illegal as they weren’t approved by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as required by Palestinian law. Fatah also claimed that Hamas was using the executions as a way to get even with its rivals, particularly those who supported Fatah.
Al-Hayeh’s comments are evidence of the growing enmity between the two sides and the dead end reached in the reconciliation talks. His comments also drew responses from other Palestinian factions that called his words destructive, dangerous and threaten to destroy the reconciliation process, according to a statement released by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.