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Peres’ Funeral Adds Fuel on the Fire of Palestinian Disputes | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, European Council President Donald Tusk and Romanian President Klaus Iohannis attend former Israeli President Shimon Peres’ funeral in Jerusalem. Abir Sultan/AFP

Ramallah- The participation of Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas at the funeral of former Israeli president Shimon Peres exploded a wave of anger and dispute in the Palestinian territories amid accusations of treason between the movements of Fatah and Hamas.

The participation had also led several movements and officials inside Fatah, led by Abbas, to distance themselves from the visit.

Fatah’s youth movement Shabiba criticized the official Palestinian participation at the funeral ceremony.

“The participation is considered a contradiction to the popular administration,” said the group, describing Peres as a “slaughterer” in the memories of the Palestinian people.

Abbas’ participation at the funeral had even driven the rare criticism of military officials.

Osama Mansour Abu Arab, an officer in the Palestinian Military Liaison was suspended from work before being arrested when he criticized Abbas for attending the funeral of Peres.

In a Facebook post, Mansour said: “Who is he [Peres] that you are going to participate in his funeral, while most of your people, who you represent, reject him?”

However, the Fatah Movement had officially replied to all the accusations saying in a statement that the participation of Abbas was a “message of peace” to the world.

During the funeral ceremony, the Israeli media took on purpose a rare image of Abbas handshaking with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and telling him: “It has been a long time.”

Rumors had also circulated, saying gunmen had fired at the house of Abbas. However, both Israelis and Palestinians completely denied them.

Meanwhile, Fatah spokesman Osama al-Qawasmi replied to a statement issued by the Hamas Movement criticizing Abbas for participating in the funeral. He said that Abbas decided to participate at the funeral only for “national purposes.”

“We will let no one doubt his national, known and solid positions,” Qawasmi said.

Despite the accusations, a leading Palestinian official said yesterday Abbas did not regret attending the funeral of Peres.