Hamas official: Abbas can't serve as Palestinian president

Published July 19th, 2007 - 02:57 GMT

A Hamas official vowed on Thursday to foil early general elections favored by Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas in his standoff with the Islamic movement. "Early elections are an attempt to bypass the will of the Palestinian people and this attempt is bound to failure. It will fail. We, the Palestinian people, will scupper it," Mahmud Zahar told a press conference in Gaza, according to AFP.


The former foreign minister in a Hamas cabinet lashed out against Abbas, accusing him of conspiring with Israel against his people and saying he was not worthy of being president.


"He conspires with the enemy to assassinate Hamas chiefs by affirming that they have dug their own grave," Zahar said. "There is an Israeli plan for a Gaza incursion with the agreement of Abu Mazen (Abbas)," he said.


"Can a man who allies with the enemy against his people remain the president of these people," Zahar asked.


He also accused Abbas of being directly responsible for the closure of the Rafah border crossing and the suffering of the estimated 6,000 Palestinians stuck there.


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