PLO leader says Hamas wants mini-state in Gaza 14Nov09 November 15, 2009

Ma’an News Agency -  14 November 2009


Yasser Abed Rabbo, secretary-general of the PLO’s Central Committee, on Saturday accused Hamas of planning to establish “a state within a state.”

He compared Hamas’ “aims” to Hizbullah’s control of southern Lebanon.

Speaking at a session of the Palestinian National Council in Ramallah, Abed Rabbo said the PLO and Palestinian Authority were threatened by “Hamas’ hostage-taking campaigns and attempts to kidnap Palestinian legitimacy.”

“Hamas conducted a coup in Gaza and still wants to dominate the Gaza Strip – yet now it’s demanding control of the West Bank,” he said, while Palestinians in Gaza “are still paying the price of this internal division.”

Meanwhile, he said, the Palestinian leadership and people are undergoing “Israel’s fierce political attacks, especially against Jerusalem, via their settlements and house demolitions.”

Abed Rabbo also announced that the PLO’s Central Committee would meet in December, when it would take “all means necessary” to protect the institutions of the PA and presidency, and would “refuse any blackmail deals proposed by Hamas.”

Earlier on Saturday, the PNC held a session commemorating the fifth anniversary of the death of late President Yasser Arafat and the Declaration of Independence. The PNC passed the declaration during its 19th session in Algeria on 15 November 1988.

Following that meeting, PNC head Salim Za’noun called on Hamas to “join the Palestinian national project and end rivalry with Fatah and the PA.” He also called on the international community to protect the Palestinian people from what he termed ongoing Israeli assaults.

The PNC is the parliament in exile for the Palestine Liberation Organization and theoretically the supreme authority for PLO policy. It has 669 members including all of the members of the Palestinian Legislative Council. Its last session was held in Amman.

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