Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, said during an interview with the Qatar based Al Jazeera TV that he intends to transfer broad security powers to the future Hamas government.The transfer of power includes the Palestinian national defense branch, preventive security, civilian police and civil defense. The three branches are subject to the Palestinian Interior Ministry.
Intelligence and national security will not be under Hamas control.
The national defense department includes some 25.000 policemen, and is the largest security branch.
Abbas added during the interview, which was conducted earlier this week, that the general intelligence, headed by Tawfik Teerawi, will remain subject to his ministry.
“We will grant Hamas authority to control the national security, we have nobody controlling the situation to ensure security in the Palestinian areas”, Abbas said.
Meanwhile, a source close to Abbas said that his statements regarding giving Hamas road security powers are meant to clarify his intentions to give Hamas partial security powers.
Israeli online daily Haaretz reported that president Abbas, who is by law defined as the supreme commander of all armed forces, is not intending to renounce control over the devices but is giving Hamas the opportunity to supervise them, and not to control them.
Abbas also said that he is in favor of forming a unified government with Hamas on a joint Feteh-Hamas platform, but if no agreement is reached Hamas will form its own government since it has a parliamentary majority.
In recent week, Abbas appointed Interior Minister General Nasser Yousef as his deputy for security affairs, and head of preventive security Rasheed Abu Shbak in charge of "internal security in the West Bank and Gaza."