Hamas leader: Doha declaration was a mistake, needs to be revised

Prominent Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar has criticized the Doha declaration, which was signed on 6 February by the movement’s political bureau chief Khaled Meshaal and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

The latest attempt to reconcile the two Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah, the declaration stated that Abbas who is also Fatah's chief would lead the new unity government.

Zahar told Egypt's state-run news agency MENA that it would be a mistake for Abbas to lead the Palestinian government. He said such a move has never happened in the history of Islamic movements, and if it went ahead, the two movements' Shura Councils would rectify the mistake.

Meshaal and Abbas met last week in Doha and the former agreed to cede power to an interim unity government led by Fatah, in what was perceived as one more step towards reconciliation.

Zahar said he has consulted several officials, and everyone feels there is a real problem with the declaration that must be resolved. He said a consultative meeting within the next two days will decide on how to revise it.

Everyone will propose his own opinion about the issue during the meeting, Zahar added.

Asked if Meshaal was the one who proposed Abbas as leader of the new government, Zahar said, "We will see if that's true. We don’t believe rumors until we hear from the source himself.”

“Representatives in the West Bank [run by Fatah] live under known circumstances, either Abbas’s prisons or Israel’s prisons. If there was one or two people abroad who welcomed it, we will ask them if they had consulted anyone,” he said.

Hamas, which is based in Gaza, wasn’t consulted about the Doha agreement, he said, adding that certain members abroad were also not consulted.

Zahar wondered about the security policy Abbas would impose if he led the government, and whether Fatah's policy of cooperation with Israel would be practiced in Gaza against groups such as Hamas and Jihad.

Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyah said in Tehran yesterday that Hamas will never recognize Israel.

Israel has denounced Fatah's efforts to reconcile with Hamas. The so-called Middle East Quartet — the European Union, Russia, the UN and the US — has said that any Palestinian government that includes Hamas must renounce violence and recognize Israel and past agreements with the Jewish state in order to join negotiations.

Hostile to each other since 2007, Fatah and Hamas signed a reconciliation agreement in Cairo last year, and are due to meet in Cairo again this week to name the members of the unity government.

Related Articles

Back to top button