Palestinian Authority Underlines Need to Disarm Hamas
Asharq Al-Awsat Thursday, 9 November, 2017 - 07:45
Ramallah - Kifah Ziboun
The Palestinian Authority insisted on disarming Hamas in the Gaza Strip in
order to make reconciliation on the basis of “one weapon and one law”, while
announcing the return of security coordination with Israel.
Palestinian Police Chief Major General Hazem Atallah told reporters on
Wednesday that Hamas must disarm, saying: “We are talking about one
authority, one law, one gun.”
This was the first public and official statement by the PA calling for Hamas’
disarmament. Palestinian officials have previously referred to the need to
control and neutralize weapons, but the disarmament file was not discussed
between Fatah and Hamas in the Cairo negotiations last month.
Asked whether Hamas’ Qassam Brigade would be able to maintain its weapons,
the police chief replied: “No way… It is impossible. How can I do security
when there are all these rockets and guns and whatever? Is this possible? It
does not work.”
Hamas did not immediately respond to Atallah’s remarks, but its leader in
the Gaza Strip, Yehya al-Senwar has repeatedly called the movement’s
disarmament a “devil’s dream in paradise.”
The Qassam Brigade is very powerful in the Gaza Strip and has a large number
of fighters, weapons and rockets. The brigade engaged in three major
confrontations with Israel within 10 years.
The Palestinian police chief also said in a press conference that security
coordination with the Israeli side was resumed around two weeks ago
following a partial suspension in July.
“Security coordination between Palestinian and Israeli services have resumed
as it used to be before it was halted,” adding that he was referring to
joint efforts to prevent militant attacks, as crime-fighting police
cooperation between the sides had never stopped.
In July, President Mahmoud Abbas announced the suspension of security
coordination in protest of Israel’s construction of metal gates at the
entrances to Al-Aqsa Mosque, after two Israeli policemen were killed in
Haram al-Sharif courtyards where police had chased and killed three
Palestinian suicide bombers.
“We don’t work for politics. We work for people,” Atallah stated.