Palestinian president Abbas wages verbal attack on Hamas
Published: Oct 14, 2009 09:42 AM Updated: May 25, 2011 01:03 PM

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday said he would not allow Hamas to create "a dark Islamic emirate" in the Gaza Strip.

"We will not let Hamas to go ahead in creating a dark Islamic emirate in Gaza, Hamas works according to its factional considerations and doesn't look for dialogue and reconciliation," Abbas said during a visit to the Arab American University in northern West Bank town of Jenin.

Hamas has seized the Gaza Strip in 2007 after routing pro-Abbas forces.

"They (Hamas) always look for reasons and pretexts to avoid dialogue and national unity and prefer the black coup and the dark emirate," Abbas added.

Abbas's comments came amid tension between his Fatah party and Hamas over the Islamic movement's requests from Egypt to put off inter-Palestinian dialogue which aims at restoring political unity in Gaza and the West Bank.

"On the other hand, we tell Hamas, Arabs, Muslims and Egypt that we are with the national unity and the dialogue without any reservations," Abbas added.

Hamas says it would not continue the Egyptian-sponsored reconciliation process with Fatah until Abbas makes a clear apology for his role in delaying the UN Human Rights Council's (UNHRC) vote on a report condemning Israel and also Hamas for war crimes during Israel's winter military operation in Gaza.

Abbas defended the PNA's support for delaying the report to lobby more support to condemn Israel in the UNHRC next session in March. He also questioned Hamas' stance from the report since it also slammed it for violating laws of war by firing rockets into Israel during the December 27 to January 18 Gaza war.

Meanwhile, Abbas rejected Hamas' accusations that he encouraged Israel when it launched Operation Cast Lead in Gaza. "The PNA has warned Hamas leaders in Gaza and in Damascus once, twice and a third time about Israel's preparations to wage a war on the Gaza Strip," Abbas said.

Hamas leaders "have fled to Sinai using ambulances during the war and left the people to be killed," Abbas continued.

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