Fridays’ speech by Hamas Political Office leader Khalid Mashal, put Fateh officials over the edge. They went so far as to refer to Mashal’s words from exile in Syria to “seditious.” Fateh called it “preparation for civil war,” and accused Mashal of “slander, lies, fabrications, and blind-spite.”
However, what Mashal actually said rang true for many Palestinians, including hard line Fateh members. Yasser Abed Rabbu, widely considered to be one of the more corrupt Fateh leaders, and Hamas’ Mohammad Nazal, engaged in a shouting match on Al Jazeera last night after Mashal’s speech, with many Fateh supporters taking the side of Nazal.
“It is a mistake for anyone to believe that by foiling the legitimate, Palestinian elected government, will guide him to a red carpet laid out by the Israeli American.”
Mashal continued, “The only way to arrive in authority is through the ballot box, and this is what happened. But the security coup [referring to President Abbas’ recent refusal to allow security apparatuses to be under Hamas supervision] would only work with the support of the Zionists and the Americans, and this conspiracy will not go over well with the Palestinian people.”
The Hamas Political Office leader said that the Palestinian people will not allow such a conspiracy to succeed, saying “he who moves on the land does not allow anyone to gamble with it.”
He addressed directly Fateh leaders by saying, “Today is the day of differentiation. You have known from before who conspires against you and against us. They are trying to divide us, yet we are drowning in the same boat, oh noble leaders of Fateh both inside and out.”
Mashal hinted that one that takes place on Palestinian land is not a shadow government, yet Fateh is trying to form a “parallel government, but it is an alternative government attempting to find the authority and right to steal from the nation. There is a difference between the political opposition and conspiracy. What is occurring is conspiracy.”
The Hamas leader was shouting through much of his speech, “What some have done is pray by a studied plan to foil the elected government, but the day has come for us to reveal and expose them. I say from this platform that a day will soon come which will reveal all truths. We will put our nation in front of those who pour their efforts into serving the Zionist nation.”
Mashal was referring among other things to unequal ‘negotiations’ and agreements that Palestinians are expected to follow, and if they do not, the PA would apologize, such as President Abbas did for the Tel Aviv operation. All the while, the Israelis kill, injure, and confiscate Palestinian lives and lands daily without apology and without ceasing.
And Mashal pointed to the “Zionist aggressive escalation from an assassination and a killing and a blockade and a starvation and hiding the taxes moneys.” He also pointed out the US administration’s help and support of the blockade against the Palestinian people leading to their starvation. He did bring up a clearly confusing point, “But what brings grief is the old continent of Europe, the one with civilization and history, the one that knows better, is following the Americans and Israelis. Oh, Europe, that you starve the Palestinian nation is beyond belief.”
He clarified that the purpose of the blockade is to break the will of the Palestinian people into submitting to the wishes of the occupier. Some Fateh leaders have also pushed Hamas to agree to the same agreements negotiated by unequal parties, and not upheld by the Israelis. Hamas essentially is refusing to follow in the Oslo footsteps of Fateh, which regardless of ones political affiliation, clearly failed if Palestinians expected it would help them.
“They [Fateh, Israel, the US] learned that we have presented a new type of government, an honorable model from the authority when it is from the nation and to the nation. They want to break our will as well, to impose their conditions upon us. We say to them as the Palestinian people’s government says to them, as do the resistance factions, and the public inside and out, we all say no to submitting to their conditions, the hunger will not make us bow down. This is our attitude and we will not recognize the occupation state as legitimate.” And intensely Mashal added, “We will not be subservient to them.”
Mashal also spoke of Jerusalem, prisoners, settlements, the Wall and the laundry list of Israeli acts that contravene international law, all the while sticking to the Hamas line, which is that resistance is legitimate under international law, and the Right of Return cannot be negotiated away.
He also talked about the successful relations with Damascus and the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah, neither of whom has forgotten that the problem is not internal as Fateh suggests, but rather external. The problem is the Israeli occupation and the American support for it.