London, Asharq Al-Awsat- The Palestinian Authority in considering declaring the Gaza Strip a ‘rebel region’ controlled by a militant gang, Asharq Al-Awsat has learned.
Head of the Fatah faction in the Palestinian Parliament, Azzam Al-Ahmed, told Asharq Al Awsat that Hamas was ignoring any initiative for negotiating with the PA and said it was the right of any legitimate government to use force to end a mutiny.
Al-Ahmed told Asharq Al Awsat that “Hamas has turned its back on every mediation attempt and initiative; the latest of which was President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) initiative to return to dialogue and implement the Yemeni initiative to end the state of division”.
He added that the message Khalid Mishal, chairman of the Political Bureau of Hamas, conveyed to Arab leaders confirms the negative attitude towards President Mahmoud Abbas’s initiative.
However, Ahmed stressed that the PA preferred not to use violence to end the current state of affairs in Gaza.
Ahmed’s comments followed Hamas’s dismissal of PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s call to resume talks between Hamas and Fatah without preconditions.
Meanwhile, Palestinian security forces arrested over 50 Hamas members in the occupied West Bank on Monday, a security official said, after the Islamist movement rounded up hundreds of its rivals in the Gaza Strip.
Security forces loyal to Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas carried out the arrests in and around the northern West Bank town of Nablus against “those suspected of inciting civil strife,” the official told AFP.
All but one of the detainees are Hamas members, and those arrested include several prominent local leaders and university professors.
The official declined to say whether the crackdown was linked to the arrest of over 300 members of Abbas’ Fatah party in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip but said there would likely be more arrests later in the day.