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Islamic Movement to Abbas: 'No need' to argue with Hamas

Ra’am leader Abbas brushes aside Sinwar’s treachery claims: I don’t owe you anything

Islamist party head responds to terror group’s Gaza chief, who accused him of ‘unforgivable crime’ of backing Israel gov’t; also says ‘trying to find solutions’ to rejoin coalition

Ra'am party leader MK Mansour Abbas (left) attends a conference in Tel Aviv, on April 11, 2022; Yahya Sinwar, Hamas's Gaza governor (right), speaks during a meeting in Gaza City, on April 30, 2022. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90; Mahmud Hamas/AFP)
Ra'am party leader MK Mansour Abbas (left) attends a conference in Tel Aviv, on April 11, 2022; Yahya Sinwar, Hamas's Gaza governor (right), speaks during a meeting in Gaza City, on April 30, 2022. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90; Mahmud Hamas/AFP)

Ra’am leader Mansour Abbas hit back at Yahya Sinwar in an interview Saturday, after the terror group’s leader in Gaza said the Islamist party leader was committing an “unforgivable crime” for supporting Israel’s government.

“We don’t owe anything to Yahya Sinwar or anyone else. We are what is good for the Arab community and Palestinian nation,” Abbas told Channel 12 news.

Earlier Saturday, Sinwar delivered a lengthy speech in which he praised a recent terror wave that has left 15 Israelis dead, and threatened Israel over any actions at Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, after near-daily clashes at the holy site.

He slammed the Ra’am party and called Abbas “Abu Righal” — a legendary traitor in pre-Islamic legend.

“That you serve as a support to this government which violates Al-Aqsa is an unforgivable crime,” Sinwar said. “The fact that you are acting as a security blanket for this government is a crime for which you will never be forgiven. You are rejecting your religion, your Arab identity and your national identity

“For an Arab to say that this is a Jewish state is the height of degeneracy,” said Sinwar. “You get a few achievements for Arab society, in exchange for the violation of Al-Aqsa?”

Palestinians, including one waving a Hamas flag, clash with Israeli police at Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem’s Temple Mount compound, on April 22, 2022. (Ahmad Gharabli/AFP)

Responding to Sinwar, Abbas said he believed Ra’am has led a process that will bring peace between Israel and the Palestinians closer.

“We believe that the process we are leading inside the State of Israel, of partnership, of tolerant dialogue, will also advance comprehensive peace between the people of Israel and the Palestinian people,” he said in the interview.

“We don’t owe him anything. We make our decisions here, at our institutions. We will seek advice from all members of Arab society… and nobody will tell us what we can or can’t do,” Abbas added.

Ra’am officials told the Kan public broadcaster than Sinwar’s speech was “incitement” against the party.

“We will not listen to any sermons from Sinwar. He will deal with Gaza, and we will deal with Israeli Arabs,” party officials told Kan.

Officials in the Islamic Movement were reportedly displeased Abbas had tangled with Sinwar, however. Ra’am is the political wing of the Southern Islamic Movement, an organization inspired by the Muslim Brotherhood.

“There was no need to respond to what Sinwar said. We have no interest in arguing with Hamas,” Islamic Movement officials told Channel 12.

Ra’am suspended its membership in the coalition after the recent clashes between Palestinians and police at Al-Aqsa. Although tensions have not escalated further, Ra’am has yet to officially re-join the government.

Abbas has publicly embraced a political program that seeks to achieve tangible gains for Arab Israelis. In interviews in both Arabic and Hebrew, the Islamist has said that Israel “was a Jewish state and will remain so.”

The Times of Israel’s Hebrew-language sister site, Zman Yisrael, reported Friday that Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and Abbas reached understandings for Ra’am to return to the fold. In his Saturday interview, Abbas said “we are currently holding talks, and trying to find solutions.”

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