Published On: Mon, Dec 1st, 2014

Hamas Says Palestinian Unity Government Is Over, Cancels Anniversary Celebrations

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The national unity government signed by Hamas and Fatah last spring has ended, according to a Hamas spokesman.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said that the six-month unity government has expired and that negotiations between the two Palestinian factions should resume, Ma’an News reported.

However, Faisal Abu Shala, a senior Fatah official, disputed Hamas’ claim that the interim government would expire after six months, saying “If the Hamas movement has retracted the reconciliation agreement and the termination of rivalry that is a different case.”

Despite signing a unity government last spring, Hamas and the Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority have continued open hostilities.

Over the summer it was revealed that Hamas had plotted to assassinate PA President Mahmoud Abbas and overthrow the PA government in the West Bank. More recently, Fatah accused Hamas of launching a series of bomb attacks on Fatah member in Gaza in early November.

Meanwhile, Hamas also slammed PA security forces for continuing to arrest Hamas supporters in the West Bank.

“Hamas denounces the escalating violations and criminal acts by the PA security services against supporters of Hamas and the Palestinian resistance, ” Abu Zuhri said.

In a possibly related event,  Hamas has decided to cancel Gaza City celebrations for the 27th anniversary of the movement’s founding, a Hamas official said Monday, according to a Ma’an report.

Ashraf Abu Zeid, who is in charge of public events, told Ma’an that Hamas had canceled the anniversary festival “in respect for the feelings of our people under siege in Gaza, and in light of the delay in reconstruction” of the Strip following the devastating war with Israel this summer.

“Hamas wasn’t created for festivals, ” Abu Zeid said.

He said limited and “humble” celebrations would be held at the local level.

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