Hamas says it won’t be bound by peace negotiations

Hamas says it won’t be bound by peace negotiations

Mahmoud Al-Zahar says Abbas should be deposed; Hamas spokesman accuses Fatah of inciting Tunisian media against it

Elhanan Miller is the former Arab affairs reporter for The Times of Israel

Mahmoud al-Zahar attends a demonstration in Khan Yunis in 2012. (photo credit: Abed Rahim Khatib / Flash 90)
Mahmoud al-Zahar attends a demonstration in Khan Yunis in 2012. (photo credit: Abed Rahim Khatib / Flash 90)

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.”

Join us!
A message from the Editor of Times of Israel
David Horovitz

The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.

We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.

Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.

Become a member of The Times of Israel Community
read more: