After the Hamas political bureau chief, Khaled Mashal, said that the movement would give Israel a chance to prove its seriousness in peace talks, Hamas political leader, Mahmoud Zahhar, denounced the statements of Mashal.The recent statements are considered the first time that Hamas leaders express conflicting opinions.
Hamas’ political bureau in Damascus was fast in responding to the statements of Zahhar. Member of Hamas’ political bureau, Izzat Al Rishiq, said that the statements of Zahhar are wrong and do not represent the stances of Hamas movement, and are considered a violation to the organizational charts of the movement “as he should not be uttering statements that target the leader of the movement”.
Al Rishiq said that Dr. Zahhar is not authorized to make such statements, as the political bureau of the movement is the only side that is authorized to make official statements or explanations to statements made by Hamas leaders.
But Al Rishiq also denied that the statements of Zahhar are considered an indication of internal conflict, adding that Hamas has a unified decision and enjoy high level of responsibility.
The statements of Zahhar were first published Tuesday when he criticized the statements of Mashal calling for giving peace talks a chance to advance.
During the official ceremony of signing the Palestinian Unity Agreement on May 4, Mashal expressed willingness to give peace talks a chance to advance.
On Tuesday, Zahhar said that “the statements of Mashal are inaccurate, as he never consulted with the leadership of Hamas”, and added that Hamas never gave the Fateh movement of President Mahmoud Abbas any proxy to hold talks with Israel on behalf of the Palestinian people.
“The stances of whoever says we authorized Fateh to negotiate, do not represent the movement”, Zahhar said.
Meanwhile, the Hamas leadership in Gaza denied media reports of internal differences among Hamas leaders.
Salah Bardaweel of Hamas said that the statements of Zahar and Al Rishiq only reflect the variety of opinions among Hamas leaders, and are not an indication of internal conflicts.