GAZA CITY — Hamas slammed Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s support for security coordination with Israel on Wednesday, as the Jewish state pursued a manhunt for three kidnapped teens Israel has said were abducted by the Islamist movement.
“President Abbas’s statements on security coordination with Israel are unjustified, harmful to Palestinian reconciliation… and a psychological blow to the thousands of Palestinian prisoners suffering a slow death in the occupation’s jails,” Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said.
“These statements are based solely on the Israeli narrative, without presenting any true information,” Abu Zuhri added.
A second Hamas official, in an even more withering castigation, said that Abbas’s comments “are similar to the statements issued by the IDF Spokesman.”
The criticism came after Abbas said security coordination with Israel was in the Palestinians’ “interest” and pledged there would be no new intifada, or uprising against the Jewish state.
Since the teenagers disappeared on Thursday evening, Israeli troops have arrested some 240 Palestinians, mostly Hamas members, in mass raids across the occupied West Bank.
So far, there has been no formal claim of responsibility, and Hamas has dismissed Israel’s accusations as “stupid.”
It was Hamas’s sharpest criticism of Abbas since the Islamist movement signed a unity deal with Fatah, aiming to end seven years of rival administrations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has urged the international community to press Abbas to end his reconciliation deal with Hamas, citing the kidnapping as proof the movement’s terrorist activities make it an unsuitable political partner.
On June 2, Abbas appointed a unity government made up of independents, which is committed to renouncing violence, but is backed by Hamas, which is sworn to the Jewish state’s destruction.