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Thursday, May 06, 2010

Abbas: "There is no difference between us and Hamas"

In an interview with Asharq Al Awsat, given while he was in China, Mahmoud Abbas (referred to consistently as Abu Mazen, his nom de guerre in Arabic) said that there is no difference between Fatah and Hamas:

When you talk about Hamas in Gaza, it is against the firing of rockets and other missiles, and when you talk about a state within the 1967 ... So, what's the difference between us and them? There is no difference. The question is no longer political or ideological or intellectual or anything else, the question is: Why do they not accept the reconciliation, in the face of the Gaza Strip deteriorating daily not monthly, socially and economically. We regret that they are smuggling weapons and explosives and assembled in the West Bank. Why punish those who fire rockets in Gaza, when we collect their weapons and explosives and equipment in the West Bank?!

Daily we discover their weapons storehouses [in the West Bank.] Large quantities! Every day, we put our hands on the arms. If you say you are committed to the truce, and punish those who fire rockets and accuses them of violating the national consensus [in Gaza], why is this a correct attitude [from Hamas' perspective] in Gaza and not in the West Bank?
This is mostly meant to put pressure on Hamas for an agreement, but Abbas knows very well that Hamas does not accept the Green Line. He is using the normal Fatah argument that Hamas is hypocritical when it tries to stop rockets while saying it is a resistance movement.