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Palestinian Chief of Intelligence: We Stand by Saudi Arabia, Refuse Iranian Projects | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Members of the Palestinian security forces loyal to Hamas conduct a military-style exercise for Palestinian students at a school in Gaza City January 7, 2014. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

Ramallah – Palestinian intelligence chief Majed Faraj sounded accusations on Tuesday over Hamas being unwarrantedly involved in crisis in the region, in a thinly-veiled hint to the recent diplomatic crisis with Qatar.

“Palestinian Authorities have sided with Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt and refuses any ‘Persian’ projects (in a remark made on Iran’s expansionist ambitions) for the region,” said Faraj at a charity meal held in Nablus in the West Bank.

“It is awfully embarrassing what we heard of slogans being cheered over in Gaza against Arab countries. We must cheer on for life… and for the Arab countries taking in our children abroad, we do not need for any Arab state to take a negative stance against our people or government,” Faraj criticized the Hamas responses and statements to the Qatar crisis.

He went on saying that the Hamas movement has control over Gaza, but is dragging Palestinians into places with no good consequence could prevail because of its involvement in Qatar.

“Our decision is independent and does not belong to foreign agendas. We refuse to interfere unilaterally or with bias into any Arab spat at hand. Intervention would cost us heavily for our cause and people who live all over the world.”

Faraj described Hamas’s decisions as “unsound” and called on the movement to resort to the umbrella of Palestinian legitimacy and end divisions polarizing the people of Palestine.

On the other hand, Egypt announced its preparedness to provide more electricity to Gaza — but only if Hamas cooperates with Egypt in its harsh ‘counterterrorism’ crackdown.

Egypt has reportedly demanded that Hamas hand over 17 men wanted by Cairo on terrorism charges, more protection by Hamas at the border, the cessation of alleged weapons smuggling into the Sinai Peninsula, and information on the movement of “elements” into Gaza via underground tunnels.

Israeli authorities approved the electricity cuts Monday, upon the request of the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the occupied West Bank, which foots Gaza’s monthly electricity bill from Israel by subtracting from taxes collected by Israel on behalf of the Palestinian Authorities.