Hamas will not push for Palestinian reconciliation talks if President Mahmoud Abbas insists on the supremacy of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), the group said on Monday. In a statement mocking Abbas and his followers, a high-level Hamas official accused Abbas of siding with Israel during its recent invasion of Gaza Strip, and seeking to "return on Israeli tanks" to govern the territory.
According to Reuters, Abbas on Sunday dismissed a call by Hamas to replace the PLO with a body less dominated by his allies. "Mahmoud Abbas spoke impulsively, perhaps reflecting the confusion he is living in after the victory of Hamas and the resistance in Gaza. We assure him that we are not begging for dialogue and we are not running after it," senior Hamas official Mohamed Nazzal said in Damascus.
"Abbas and his entourage were waiting (during Israel's Gaza invasion) for the collapse of Hamas and the resistance to go back to Gaza on Israeli tanks after many of them fled in their underwear in June 2007," Nazzal said.
For his part, Hamas' spokesman in Gaza Strip Fawzi Barhoum opined that Abbas' remarks were meant to abort the national dialogue and to deepen the Palestinian rift in favor of the Israeli occupation. Barhoum, in this regard, held Abbas responsible for the possible adverse outcome of those remarks, underscoring that Abbas' efforts to push Hamas to the corner and to force it into accepting his agenda over the past two years had failed.