EXCLUSIVE – Fatah Official: Integration of 20,000 Hamas Personnel Proves Commitment to Reconciliation

AP/Majdi Mohammed

TEL AVIV — The Palestinian Authority’s integration of 20,000 Hamas employees in its ranks is evidence of the PA government’s commitment to making reconciliation with Hamas a success, a Fatah official told Breitbart Jerusalem.

According to Samir al-Burdeini, a member of the Fatah leadership’s Supreme Committee in the Gaza Strip, “The integration of 20,000 Hamas employees into the new budget of the Palestinian government is proof that the Palestinian leadership is very serious in its intention to complete the reconciliation and achieve success to get the Strip out of its crisis.”

Al-Burdeini rejected the claims that integrating 20,000 Hamas personnel into the government eases pressure on a terrorist organization.

“The preference for the Palestinian leadership at this time is to unite forces with Hamas and all the Palestinian factions to deal with all the initiatives to destroy the Palestinian cause,” he said referring to reports that the Trump administration is moving closer to presenting its political initiative to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, an initiative known in Arabic media as Trump’s “deal of the century.”

Al-Burdeini also added that the Palestinian Authority government won’t stop employing 20,000 Hamas personnel, “but continue to take action in finding a just solution to the problems of thousands of other employees of the Hamas government exactly as the government is committed to finding a solution to the employment problems of thousands of unemployed university graduates.”

According to al-Burdeini, cooperation would allow for the creation of ideas, initiatives and projects to integrate what’s left of the Hamas personnel and help university graduates.

“But because the government is being preventing from fulfilling its position in the Gaza Strip, we are also prevented from reaching a solution to these problems,” he said. “We need to solve this complication of the complete transfer of authority to the Palestinian government since the solution of employing Hamas personnel is the easiest of our differences with Hamas.”

Until now, said al-Burdeini, Hamas has insisted on a number of officials keeping their positions in government ministries and making decisions without consulting the ministers of the legal Palestinian government, which cannot be allowed to continue.

Al-Burdeini also rejected the label that Hamas is a terrorist organization that will make the PA government look bad and said Fatah prefers to focus on the technical side of the reconciliation. This even though Hamas is openly committed to Israel’s destruction, calls for attacks on civilians and has carried out countless terrorist attacks targeting Israelis, including suicide bombings and shootings.

“It can’t be that in the shadow of the reconciliation efforts and the transfer of the mandate to the PA government, Hamas continues to collect taxes and payments from the residents of the Gaza Strip without cooperating with the government or transferring those funds to the government,” said al-Burdeini. “How can a political movement do this while ignoring the government?

“The levying of taxes and payments is the sole responsibility of the government. It’s time that Hamas respect the agreements reached with Egyptian mediation in 2011, 2012 and 2017. The disregard of these agreements is problematic.”

According to al-Burdeini, Hamas is aware that there are initiatives to destroy the Palestinian cause.

“That’s the reason they are drawing out the reconciliation talks to leave Fatah to deal with these destructive initiatives on its own,” he said. “Hamas refuses to make the historic decision on this issue and its decision to boycott the meeting of the Palestinian Central Committee after Trump’s announcement regarding Jerusalem is evidence of this.”

But, according to al-Burdeini, “Hamas’ behavior won’t prevent Fatah from handling the initiatives that are meant to destroy the Palestinian cause. But we call on all the Palestinian factions to unite around the leadership of the Palestinian people to confront these initiatives and take action to complete the reconciliation deal that was reached in Cairo.”


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