Hamas government spokesman in Gaza, Ihab al-Ghussein stated that Mahmoud Abbas was deceiving the Americans in public statements calling for peace with Israel. In a Facebook post on June 8, al-Ghussein wrote that the Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, is “tricking” the Americans. “When I go out and say that the [PA] government is my [Abbas] government and it recognizes ‘Israel’ and so on, fine – these words are meant to trick the Americans,” wrote al-Ghussein.
On Sunday in Vatican City, Abbas called for a “comprehensive and just peace” with Israel during a joint-peace prayer with Pope Francis, who recently visited the Jewish state, and Israeli President Shimon Peres.
“O Lord, bring comprehensive and just peace to our country and region so that our people and the peoples of the Middle East and the whole world would enjoy the fruit of peace, stability and coexistence,” Abbas stated during a ceremony where he planted an olive tree together with Peres in the Vatican gardens.
But on the same day, al-Ghussein wrote in Arabic on his Facebook page – as documented by Palestinian Media Watch – that Abbas’s real intentions behind his public declarations are very different.
“You know what Mahmoud Abbas says behind closed doors? He says: ‘Guys, let me [continue] saying what I say to the media. Those words are meant for the Americans the occupation (i.e. Israel), not for you [Hamas],” wrote al-Ghussein.
“What’s important is that we agree on among ourselves,” the Hamas spokesman reported Abbas as saying.
Al-Ghussein himself called for “jihad” against Israel recently. In an interview with Al-Monitor on May 25 al-Ghussein stated that it was not logical that Palestinians travel to Syria to perform “jihad” following reports of a young Palestinian man from the Gaza Strip was killed during battle in Syria.
“It’s not logical that young men travel from the ‘land of Rabat’ [Palestine] to fight in other places. Our country needs the youth to resist Israeli occupation, and whoever wants to carry out jihad and resistance, then here lies the land of jihad and resistance,” said al-Ghussein.
Earlier this year in January, a senior member PA’s President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party, Jibril Rajoub told an Iranian TV station, Al-Alam, during an official visit to Tehran, that the “The option of resistance, including armed resistance, remains on the table.”