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Gaza Official: Fighting Between Hamas and PA Has Made Palestinians “Beggars”

A Hamas official wrote that the inability of his organization and Fatah, the main political organization in the West Bank, to work together has made the Palestinians “beggars,” The Jerusalem Post reported Tuesday.

Ahmed Yousef, who had previously been a senior adviser to Hamas leader Ismaiel Haniyeh, wrote his critique on the Palestinian Donia Al-Watan website, in response to a call by Palestinian Authority chief negotiator Saeb Erekat on Hamas to implement previous reconciliation agreements with Fatah.

“We have all made mistakes – Hamas and Fatah alike,” Yousef argued. “Hamas and Fatah have failed to reach agreement on a unified national vision. We have failed in the management of good governance that enhances the ability of our people to maintain stability and the momentum of resistance. We have also failed to establish a political partnership that brings together all the Palestinians. Each of us bears full responsibility.”

Yousef didn’t just blame the two dominant Palestinian political factions for failing to work together, but for exacerbating tensions by blaming each other.

“Hamas and Fatah failed the day they showed the world – with ignorance and political idiocy – that the factions are more important than the homeland,” Yousef wrote. “We failed when we showed the world that the position of the leader has become the goal of everyone. We failed the day the Palestinian street became polarized. We have all failed the day disputes and controversies became platforms for bickering.”

Yousef, in a direct response to Erekat, wrote that Hamas was not alone in failing to help the Palestinians, but that “Fatah is a par excellence partner in the state of failure and degradation.”

Yousef, who was described as “expressing views that are not necessarily in coherence with those of the Hamas leadership” in recent years, wrote his assessment as an Egyptian delegation was meeting with Hamas officials to attempt to come to a ceasefire agreement with Israel, and end the dispute between Fatah and Hamas.

Yousef’s critique of Fatah and Hamas comes at a time that Human Rights Watch accused both Fatah, which is headed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, and Hamas of creating “parallel police states” in the West Bank and Gaza. In a 149-page report, HRW accused both major Palestinian political parties of “systematic” arbitrary arrests, and torturing dissidents.

[Photo: AP Archive / YouTube ]