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Hamas divided on unity with Abbas

Hamas divided on unity with Abbas
13th February 2012 ICSR Team
In M!ddle Easterners

The split within the ranks of the Islamic Palestinian movement Hamas occupies much of the attention of Arab media these days.

London-based liberal daily Al-Hayat reported on its front page on a meeting between the Iranian Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei and Hamas Prime Minister, Ismail Haniyah in Tehran on Sunday. According to the report, Khamenei “warned” Haniyah against any compromise with Israel. According to Khamenei’s website, the daily reports, Haniyah replied that Hamas’ goal remains “liberation from the river to the sea and refusal of negotiations with Israel.”

The Iranian embrace of Haniyah comes days after an agreement was reached with the head of Hamas’ political bureau Khaled Mashal to accept Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as interim prime minister, a move Iran views as preceding a dangerous rapprochement with Israel.

Al-Quds Al-Arabi claims that the split within Hamas on future relations with the PLO have reached the ranks of the Al-Qassam Brigades, the organisation’s military wing. Muhammad Deif, the organisation’s founder, reportedly opposes reconciliation with Fatah while his deputy, Ahmad Jaabari, endorses it. Hamas’ parliamentary deputies are also divided on the question of reconciliation, with Gaza deputies opposing it and the West Bank deputies supporting it.