Member of Hamas senior leadership and the terrorist organization’s co-founder Mahmoud Al-Zahar announced this weekend that Hamas fully intends to continue smuggling weapons into the Gaza Strip. Al-Zahar told the Ma’an News Agency that Hamas has “no choice but to continue to bring in weapons by all possible means,” and that he has every expectation that Iran will “increase its military and financial support to Hamas.”
In contrast to statements made by other Hamas leaders, Al-Zahar rejected criticism of the execution of seven Gazans alleged to have collaborated with Israel in the Gaza Strip during the conflict. Pictures were found on the Internet which showed the victims being pulled out of a truck and summarily executed. There was also a picture of one of the dead men being dragged behind a motorcycle through the streets of Gaza.
“We will not allow one collaborator to be in Gaza, and let human rights’ groups say whatever they want, a human has rights if they have honor and not if they are a traitor,”Al-Zahar said.
Arab media sources are also reporting that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas traveled to Gaza over the weekend. During his visit, Abbas discussed with Hamas leadership his plans to approach the United Nations and seek non-member observer status for the non-existent state of “Palestine.”
This would mean that the U.N. General Assembly would approve “Palestine” – made up of Judea and Samaria, Gaza and Eastern Jerusalem as a kind of fetal state, with some limbs fully determined, and others to develop later.
Hamas has consistently opposed Abbas’s effort to upgrade the Arab Palestinians’ status at the U.N., but reports following Saturday’s meeting between the frequently-rival parties revealed a change in position.
According to the Ma’an News Agency, Nasser al-Shaer, a former government minister and Hamas deputy, said after the meeting that he supported the UN bid.
Bir Zeit University politics professor George Giacaman characterized the PA’s effort to attain the higher status at the U.N., despite the strong opposition of the United States and others, as a form of diplomatic resistance.
Giacaman told the BBC, “As an observer state it will be possible for the first time now to join various UN fora and also committees whereby it it will be possible to press charges of Israeli war crimes. This is an important card that President Abbas can play.”
Abbas publicly announced his intention to seek recognition of “Palestine” from the U.N. General Assembly at his speech there on September 27. The vote may take place as early as this Thursday, Nov 29.
About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.
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