Dahlan says Hamas procrastinating on deal 19Oct09 October 20, 2009

Ma’an -  19 October 2009


Fatah’s former Gaza strongman Mahmoud Dahlan lashed out at Hamas on Monday for allegedly attempting to “ruin” an Egyptian initiative to reunite Palestine’s divided parties under one political framework.

Pressure is mounting on Hamas to sign Egypt’s latest proposal, which calls for a multi-faction coordinating committee would bring the West Bank and Gaza back under one administrative umbrella. Fatah unilaterally approved the deal last Wednesday, a day before the deadline set by the Egyptian brokers.

Speaking at a news conference in Ramallah on Monday, Dahlan claimed that the proposal met all of Hamas’ conditions, “and Fatah accepted it in order to unite the West Bank and Gaza, in order to face the Israeli occupation.”

Once the Palestinian Authority’s security chief in Gaza, Dahlan left the territory days before Hamas’ June 2007 takeover of the territory. Hamas officials cite Dahlan’s role in harassing Fatah’s opponents as one of the main factors that triggered the confrontation.

He said the party signed the deal despite “opposition from within Fatah to sign the document because it was unjust toward the movement”

The member of the Fatah Central Committee said Hamas’ reaction to the Ramallah government’s initial deferral of action on the Goldstone report on war crimes in Gaza was “a kind of procrastination.”

He also said Hamas “is not making its own decision. It depends on the brothers in Jordan and Egypt, it is also linked to external relations with Iran and Syria.”

Hamas’ delay in signing the proposal “gives Israel an excuse for further intransigence,” Dahlan said, linking the unity issue to negotiations with Israel. “He who accepts an emirate in Gaza accepts an emirate on the border of the separation wall,” he said, arguing that Hamas control over Gaza strengthens Israel’s ability to annex land in the West Bank.

He went on to say that Cairo was “too patient with Hamas, but now it is tired of the delays. Hamas’ claims that the document says nothing about resistance are a false excuse, because Hamas is preventing the ‘Jihad” in Gaza.’”

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