Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Yehya Sinwar: We Want a Strong Abbas, Will not Allow Anyone to Obstruct Reconciliation | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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FILE PHOTO: Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh (R) and Hamas Gaza Chief Yahya Al-Sinwar attend a ceremony announcing a new policy document, in Gaza City May 1, 2017. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem/File Photo

Ramallah – The head of Hamas Movement in the Gaza Strip, Yehya Sinwar, threatened to “break the neck of anyone who would disrupt reconciliation” between his movement and Fatah, saying he wanted Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to be “strong, not weak”.

His statements highlighted a strategic shift in Hamas’ strategy and approach.

“We will break the neck of those who do not want reconciliation,” he said during a gathering with a group of Palestinian youths in Gaza. “We will make staggering concessions,” he added.

The young men, who were supposed to be listening to a person who had been portrayed as bloody, stubborn, violent and security-crazed, were surprised to see that they were in front of a flexible diplomatic man, open to women’s rights and considers Hamas’ rule far less important than the life of a child suffering at a hospital (as he said).

Sinwar told his listeners that they should not lose any opportunity for reconciliation, pledging more concessions to that end.

“We will make very big concessions, each concession will be more surprising and more shocking than the previous one,” he said. “The split must end soon.”

According to Sinwar, Hamas chose to dissolve the administrative committee before President Abbas’ address to the UN General Assembly, “because the movement sees that a strong president serves the interests of our people and our cause.”

“We wanted Abu Mazen to address the United Nations with strength, although we disagree with him; it is better for us to come out strong and not weak in front of the world no matter how we disagree with him,” he stated.

Sinwar went on to say: “We should rise above partisan calculations; we want to move to the future to build our national project.”

While he did not touch on the arsenal of Al-Qassam brigade, he spoke of high coordination with the rest of the armed forces. He also said he hoped that all of them would eventually be integrated into a “Palestinian national army”, in reference to the establishment of a Palestinian State.

Sinwar talked about women’s role and the importance of their participation in the political work.

“Women are the whole society, and I invite them to engage in political work for the sake of the homeland,” he told his audience.

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah will head on Monday to the Gaza Strip, where he will hold a Cabinet session the next day marking the beginning of work on ending the split between Fatah and Hamas.

The two movements will later meet in Cairo, to set up a comprehensive plan that includes the formation of a unity government and the holding of general elections.