Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Fatah Official Says Military Option Against Hamas Possible | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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London, Asharq Al-Awsat – Palestinian National Security Forces Commander Major General Diyab al-Ali does not excluded a military solution as one of the options for retrieving the Gaza Strip from the hands of the Hamas movement and reuniting the homeland’s two parts.

Al-Ali told Asharq Al-Awsat when asked about threats reported by the Israeli “Ha’aretz” newspaper which cited him as saying that the Palestinian Authority [PA] would use force to retake Gaza, Maj. Gen. Al-Ali said: “I did not say exactly that.” But he in fact reiterated what “Ha’aretz’ said when he replied to the question of whether the military option was still on the table: “When I say using all available means it means they include a military solution.”

According Maj. Gen. Al-Ali, all possibilities remain open if the Gaza Strip remains separated from the homeland and the latter was not unified, “including the use of armed force.” He added “but such an option must be discussed at the regional level” and stressed that the “PA will not seek Israel’s help against Hamas.”

From his viewpoint as evidenced by his statements, such an option needs Egyptian-Jordanian-Israeli approval and also equipment and materials that are not available at present but warned at the same time that “what everyone should know is that we have not abandoned this option and will implement it if conditions allow.”

Maj. Gen. Al-Ali denied that this option was discussed at the security coordination meetings with the Israelis and also not discussed within the PA insisting that it is his personal opinion. He then accused Israel of exaggerating Hamas’s strength in the West Bank and said that “Hamas does not have real power in the West Bank and Israel is exaggerating its strength”, adding “we are ready to control the West Bank cities and maintain security if Israel withdraws from them and this will make it easier for us to obtain our demands from Israel.”