Hamas appears determined to sabotage the shaky Palestinian Authority unity government to which it belongs. Hamas spokesperson Mahmoud al-Zahar said Wednesday that Palestinian Authority unity government chairman Mahmoud Abbas is not the group’s legitimate leader.
Zahar, who co-founded Gaza’s ruling terrorist organization, is a member of the Hamas leadership.
Hamas is a member of what is supposed to be a Palestinian Authority coalition government together with Fatah, the faction led by Abbas, who also is chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Abbas is the only person authorized to advocate for PA Arabs at the United Nations and in any international arena.
But speaking in an interview with Lebanon’s Al Akhbar, Zahar charged that the unity government has been a failure. He scored Abbas for going to the media with accusations that Hamas is running a “shadow government” in Gaza.
Hamas has refused to place control of security and other various ministries under the authority of the unity government, Abbas said.
“Fatah lost the legitimacy to represent the Palestinian people after the (2006) elections,” Zahar told the newspaper. “Abu Mazen (Abbas) is not a legitimate or agreed-upon president. He is a president because there is no other choice.”
Elections have yet to be held in the Palestinian Authority, although the unity agreement mandated polls six months after the government was formed. In the wake of this summer’s Gaza war and the repeated violations of cease-fires by Hamas, Abbas has refused to hold the elections.
“According to our information, Abbas fears the results of the election,” Zahar said in the interview. He added that no further talks or permission was needed for Hamas to go ahead with its plans to build an airport or seaport in Gaza, regardless of the cease-fire deal that mandated negotiations over the issue.
If we decide to build an airport and Israel responds by attacking it, then we will attack [Israel’s] airport in return,” he said.