Hamas will not be bound by the outcome of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, a senior Hamas official stated on Tuesday.
Mahmoud Al-Zahar, a Hamas official based in Gaza, told his movement’s daily Al-Resalah that Hamas should act to isolate Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and strip him of any representative capacity over his decision to negotiate with Israel.
“The PA has dealt the final blow to reconciliation talks, and Hamas will never accept the negotiation track and its result,” Al-Zahar said. “We refuse to swap Palestinian principles for politicized money.”
Hamas has long claimed that negotiations with Israel and reconciliation talks were mutually exclusive, accusing Israel and the United States of intentionally foiling Palestinian unity efforts. Reconciliation talks between Hamas and Fatah were meant to recommence in Cairo on Wednesday, but Hamas leader Salah Bardawil said that no such meetings will take place.
“Fatah retreated from the reconciliation, preferring the path of negotiations to sitting with Hamas,” Bardawil told Hamas-affiliated daily Felesteen.
Differences on the attitude to Israel are not the only point of contention between Hamas and Fatah. The Islamist organization last month accused Fatah of intentionally fabricating intelligence information and news reports for Egyptian media consumption in order to defame it.
On Monday, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum accused Fatah of circulating the same false information about Hamas among Tunisian media, in addition to the defamation efforts carried out from the Palestinian embassy in Cairo.
“[Fatah] has violated all morals and principles,” Barhoum said in a statement published on his movement’s website Monday.
“They have no mercy on the Palestinian diaspora in Tunisia, nor on the university students, nor on any Palestinian visitor to Tunisia. They claim that these Palestinians militarily train members of the Ennahda movement.”