Fatah slams Hamas call to form new Palestinian leadership

January 31st, 2009 - 10:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Gaza, Jan 31 (Xinhua) The Fatah movement of President Mahmoud Abbas slammed Saturday its arch-rival Islamic Hamas movement for seeking to form a new leadership for the Palestinians.”Hamas calls for new leadership aimed at replacing the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) the sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people all over the world,” a Fatah statement sent to reporters said.

In a speech in Qatar last week, Hamas’ exiled leader Khalid Meshaal advocated a new umbrella body to represent the Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank and in the Diaspora.

Fatah, which warned of Meshaal’s calls “to form a new political reference for the Palestinian people”, called on all PLO powers and factions “to get back to the national accordance document agreed upon by all factions including Hamas”.

Leaders of political factions, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad agreed upon “the document of national accordance” which called for renovating the PLO.

Claiming victory in a 22-day war with Israel, in which around 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis were killed, Hamas reasserted it controlled the Gaza Strip and resumed its political challenge to moderate Abbas.

On Friday, several thousands of Hamas supporters rallied in Gaza in support for Meshaal’s call to abolish the PLO. Meshaal’s proposal was echoed in similar statements to cheering crowds by a senior Hamas leader Khalil Al Hayya.

In the first public appearance by a prominent Gaza Hamas leader since Israeli attacks on Dec 27, Al Hayya said the PLO was “dead” and sent to the “morgue” by those who founded it.

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