Egypt Independent

Abbas slammed for urging Arab intervention in Gaza



Palestinian factions Hamas and Islamic Jihad have launched a scathing attack on Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas for urging an Arab intervention in the Gaza Strip akin to the Saudi-led assault on Yemen.

The two movements organized a march on Sunday night  that kicked off in the Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza to denounce Abbas' remarks.

The Palestinian leader's comments came during the 26th round of the Arab Summit, which concluded Sunday in Egypt's Red Sea resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh.

Abbas also warned of attempts to establish a separate state in the Gaza Strip through a long-term truce between Hamas and Israel.

On the sidelines of the Sunday march, leading Hamas member Mushir al-Masri said that Gazans "won't have mercy on anyone that attacks Gaza."

"We won't be merciful to Abbas just like we weren't merciful to [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu," al-Masri said, referring to a recent conflict in the Gaza Strip between Palestinian resistance factions and Israel.

"Abbas had previously described Gaza as a rebellious region and seeks to pit the world against his own people, not to mention that he works with the Israelis against his Palestinians," al-Masri said, while urging members of Abbas' Fatah to repudiate his remarks.

Dawood Shehab, an Islamic Jihad spokesman, for his part, said that Abbas statements are "poisonous and to destroy every effort towards national unity and internal cohesion."

"Gaza will never become a separate entity from the rest of Palestine, and the conspiracy Abbas is warning of is actually of his own making," Shehab said.

The PA could not be reached for an immediate comment on the statements of Shehab and al-Masri.

Last year, Hamas and Fatah signed a reconciliation deal aimed at ending seven years of division, which had led to the establishment of two rival seats of government – in Gaza and Ramallah respectively – after Hamas routed pro-Fatah forces in 2007 and took control of the entire Gaza Strip.

Several Arab states have joined a Saudi-led military offensive which kicked off late Wednesday with a string of airstrikes against the positions of the Houthi group in Yemen, including some in capital Sanaa.

Saudi Arabia said the strikes were in response to calls by embattled President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi for military intervention to "save the people from the Houthi militias."

Several Gulf countries accuse Shiite Iran of supporting the Houthi insurgency.