Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Haniyeh’s Foreign Tour Sparks Controversy Over Official Representation

Haniyeh’s Foreign Tour Sparks Controversy Over Official Representation

Tuesday, 14 January, 2020 - 12:00
Hamas Chief Ismail Haniyeh attends a meeting with members of international media at his office in Gaza City June 20, 2019. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem
Ramallah- Kifah Zboun

A regional tour conducted by the head of Hamas political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, renewed disputes over the Palestinian official representation.

Ramallah accused Haniyeh of “striking the unity of the Palestinian representation,” adding that his behavior and stances “do not reflect the Palestinians.”

Fatah movement and other Palestinian factions launched a strong-worded attack against the Hamas official, accusing him of “bowing to others” and “putting the Palestinian decision at stake”.

Fatah Movement Spokesman Hussein Hamayel said that Hamas was “subjecting the Palestinian stance to foreign agendas at the expense of our people’s interests.”

“This behavior is seriously damaging the independence of the Palestinian decision, which has always been based on the foundations of our Palestinian cause, and is costing our people a lot of losses on the regional and global levels,” he added.

Hamayel accused Hamas of interfering in the affairs of other countries, in violation of the official Palestinian position, which is based on neutrality.

The attack on Hamas came a day after a visit by Haniyeh to the Sultanate of Oman to offer condolences for the death of Sultan Qaboos bin Saeed, in parallel with President Mahmoud Abbas’ visit to the Sultanate – a move that angered officials in Ramallah.

Haniyeh is currently residing in Qatar, from which he is conducting a regional tour that took him to Egypt and Turkey, before Oman.

Palestinian officials joined the attack on Hamas. Walid Al-Awad, member of the People’s Party political bureau, said: “Hamas’ efforts to open communication channels with Washington reveal the great conspiracy aimed at striking the united Palestinian representation and dispersing the national identity.”

Editor Picks