TEL AVIV – Jibril Rajoub, a member of the central committee of Fatah, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ movement, lashed out at Hamas in a television interview with the al-Quds network, saying that Fatah is Israel’s greatest enemy and not Hamas.
“Don’t preach to us for recognizing Israel and that your weapon is a weapon of resistance,” said Rajoub (pictured). “We care more about you and your pride than what you think. We are patriots.”
Rajoub, who also serves as chief of the Palestinian Football Association and the Palestine Olympic Committee, continued his criticism of Hamas, saying, “You are in no situation to teach Abu Mazen (PA President Mahmoud Abbas) or the Fatah movement.”
The Palestinian official addressed the ultimatum delivered to Israel by Abu Obaida, a spokesperson for Hamas’ military wing, regarding the demands of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike. The ultimatum threatened that Hamas would expand by 30 the list of Palestinian prisoners for whom it demands release – one prisoner for every day Israel refuses to accept the demands of the hunger strikers.
Rajoub smirked at the ultimatum and said, “What happened that the Al Qassam Brigades threatened Israel? Unfortunately, we’re seeing that they’re harsh with us and merciful (with the Israelis). The Fatah movement is the one that taught you what struggle means and what political maturity is. Who are you? Who are you?”
“In everything regarding the struggle, we are your superiors. Don’t forget your history. From ’67 until ’87 you were running in chains after the students,” continued Rajoub, criticizing Hamas’ leadership for refusing to support and even working to thwart a strike at schools and universities announced by Fatah in the 1980s, before the first Intifada of 1987.
Rajoub continued to preach to Hamas about the struggle against Israel, reminding Hamas that “Israel’s greatest enemy is the Fatah movement. Some of you didn’t even pray before 1989.”
جبريل الرجوب: تصرفات حماس جرحتنا، ونحن حريصون على كرامتكم أكثر منكم. pic.twitter.com/8PXge5Ssuc
— شبكة قدس الإخبارية (@qudsn) May 4, 2017
Tensions between Fatah and Hamas have been on the rise over the last few weeks due to the PA’s decision to stop transferring funds to pay its employees living in the Gaza Strip, who haven’t been performing their duties since Hamas took control of the area in 2007. The move was made as part of the PA’s campaign to put pressure on Hamas to return control of the Strip.
In addition, the PA announced that it would stop transferring payments for the electricity provided by the Israeli electric corporation to the Gaza Strip, claiming that Hamas hasn’t been handing over payments made by Gaza residents, worsening the electric crisis in the enclave.
The PA’s decisions led to the two sides blaming each other for the situation, with Hamas accusing the PA of treating Gaza residents like hostages.
As part of the escalation between the two sides, Hamas responded to Abbas’ meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump last week with the claim that Abbas has no authority to represent the Palestinian people or negotiate on its behalf. Hamas spokesperson Dr. Sami Abu Zuhri promised that the movement would reject all of Abbas’ proposals.