Fatah official castigates UN Mideast envoy as ‘servant of the US administration’
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Fatah official castigates UN Mideast envoy as ‘servant of the US administration’

Majed Fityani, the secretary-general of the Fatah Revolutionary Council, also accuses Nikolay Mladenov of sticking ‘his nose in everything’

Adam Rasgon is the Palestinian affairs reporter at The Times of Israel

Nikolay Mladenov, United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process,   at Yad Vashem in August 28, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Nikolay Mladenov, United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, at Yad Vashem in August 28, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

A high-ranking Fatah official has accused Nikolay Mladenov, the United Nations special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, of working on behalf of US President Donald Trump’s administration and intervening in internal Palestinian matters.

“He is a servant of the American administration,” Majed Fityani, the secretary-general of the Fatah Revolutionary Council, told Palestine TV, the official Palestinian Authority channel, on Saturday evening. “He should… not be intervening in internal affairs. It is not his right or mandate to interfere, but he puts his nose in everything.”

Fityani did not state explicitly why and how he believes Mladenov is working for the Trump administration and intervening in internal Palestinian affairs. He also did not respond to a request for comment on what was a relatively rare instance of criticism by Palestinian officials of the UN and its officials. The Palestinian leadership has tended to regard the UN and its agencies and officials as being more sympathetic to their causes and interests than many other international players.

Mladenov has recently played a key role in attempting to broker a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, though negotiations have since reportedly reached an impasse.

Majed Fityani, the secretary-general Fatah Revolutionary Council, speaks to Palestine TV, the official Palestinian Authority channel, on October 6, 2018. (Screen capture: Youtube)

Fatah and the Palestinian Authority have vehemently opposed any possible ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, the terrorist group that rules Gaza. They have demanded reconciliation between rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas take place before any ceasefire be reached, and asserted the Palestine Liberation Organization is the sole Palestinian party that can negotiate such a deal.

Fityani also contended Mladenov is no longer an “honest broker” and said the Palestinians consider his work as UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process to be over.

“I believe that Mr. Mladenov is no longer an honest broker in this process,” he said. “As far as we are concerned as Palestinians, Mladenov’s mission has ended. He should spend the rest of his time as the envoy of the UN secretary-general on vacation with his Israeli friends or traveling at the expense of Trump or those who fund this moral and political digression, in which he has drowned.”

Hadashot television reported in August that “it appears Mladenov is expected to finish his job” as UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process in the near future.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon, however, said on Sunday in a phone call that he had no idea when Mladenov’s tenure as UN special coordinator would end.

Mladenov’s office would not comment on Fityani’s statements.

Israeli soldiers boarding armored vehicles on their way to patrol along the Israeli-Gazan border on July 21, 2018. (Gili Yaari/FLASH90)

Last month, Azzam al-Ahmad, a Fatah Central Committee member, also lashed out at Mladenov.

“We have expressed criticisms to Mladenov,” he told Palestine TV on September 22. “He has intervened in [matters] outside of the framework of his duties.”

Ahmad made the accusation against Mladenov while commenting on his efforts to clinch a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

Ahmad also said that he “believes Mladenov has been a supporter of Israel since he was the Bulgarian Foreign Minister.”

Mladenov served as Bulgarian foreign minister between January 2010 and March 2013.

Mladenov’s office also declined to comment on Ahmad’s remarks.

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