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Report: Israeli forces open fire on Palestinian march near Qalandia
Hamas 'considering alternatives' to unity govt in Gaza
Published Saturday 05/07/2014 (updated) 06/07/2014 19:38
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(MaanImages/File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Amid frustration with the newly-formed national consensus government, Hamas is considering the option of forming a separatist government in Gaza led by Palestinian factions, a leader of the Islamist movement said Saturday.

Senior Hamas official Ahmad Yousef told Ma'an that the movement had begun consultations with nationalist and Islamist factions in the Gaza Strip to consider forming a new government.

"We are talking about an all-faction leadership to prevent security chaos and solve the crisis of salaries for the Gaza Strip's civil servants," Yousef said.

"There is a political vacuum in the Gaza Strip which creates the atmosphere for security chaos, taking into account that the national consensus government has not taken even a single step toward ending political disagreement."

"The Hamdallah government has failed to fill" the political vacuum, Yousef said.

"In Gaza there are ministries without budgets as well as ministers and employees who don't receive salaries. From a moral and national point of view everybody should work to end this state," he added.

The salary crisis started in early June when Hamas employees of the former Gaza government were angered to find out they had not been paid, with Hamas-affiliated police officers preventing PA employees from collecting their wages. Employees of the previous government see it as Ramallah's responsibility to pay their salaries, but the new unity government says no such agreement was ever made with Hamas.

Hamdallah responsible for rocket fire

Asked about increased rocket fire on Israel in recent weeks, Yousef told Ma'an Hamas was not responsible for preventing attacks.

"From a political point of view, (Prime Minister) Rami Hamdallah is responsible and he can give orders to security services to intervene. Hamas is not ruling the Gaza Strip and so it's not responsible for protecting borders."

He said Palestinian security forces had attempted to prevent rocket fire, but had not been very successful.

"Israeli aggression motivates some response, and we can't ask these bereaved people to stop," Yousef said.

As the Israeli army launched a massive search campaign in the West Bank, arresting hundreds of Palestinians and killing at least six, militant factions in Gaza increased rocket fire on Israel.

The Israeli air force has responded with near-nightly airstrikes on the besieged coastal enclave.

A Palestinian national consensus government was sworn in on June 2, as Hamas ceded power after nearly seven years of ruling Gaza.

Many issues involving the Strip, such as the fate of former employees of the Hamas government, have yet to be addressed by the new unity government.

Security coordination with Israel -- which Abbas recently described as "sacred" -- has been another major point of contention.
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1 ) Carol Scheller / Switzerland
05/07/2014 13:39
"bone", not "point", of contention

2 ) JoeFattal / USA
05/07/2014 16:42
Her we go again, another move that would put Israel on the edge again. Netanyahu's mistake was to ask Abbas to dissolve the unity after the 3 settlers were abducted before having any proof that Hamas was behind it. Now Hamas wants to consider alternative to the unity, means that the unity was the cause of everything that is happening in the West Bank, not the death of the 3 settlers. Another political move that will anger Israel.

3 ) Outlier / USA
05/07/2014 18:12
As I previously suggested, the two sides, having played "hard to get," will now play "hard to keep."

4 ) jv / Canada
05/07/2014 18:34
I urge all Palestinians to keep it together long enough to make to the elections. You are stronger together that you are separately. Having half of you waging war and the other half looking for peace just confuses the international community. When they are confused they do nothing. You need to start speaking and acting with one voice.

5 ) Rater / us
05/07/2014 18:34
@Carol Scheller - 'point of contention' is as correct as 'bone of contention'.

6 ) Mel / USA
05/07/2014 19:11
Excellant plan for WB/Gaza,as long as all factions are mentality in sync to UNITE for a Palestine accorded by international rule of law!Abbas must change his stagnant,in lame-limbo position as Israel's(PA)proxy serving barbaric Judeo-fascist-extremists,tyrannical expansionists,occupying HIM,Palestine & the Israeli KKKnesset,Executive & Army.That's voluntary suicide,Abbas!So,uniting with any fellow Palestinian groups-Islamic or secular-is priority under national unity,thru'rule of intnl.law!"

7 ) Wardah / Oman
05/07/2014 19:57
Hamas proposal makes sense given the current situation & the track record of the unity government so far. Unless Abbas & the unity government start taking political responsibility for Gaza; by acknowledging that Gaza actually exists & trying to find ways to help it, there may be no other way for Gaza to go, but the Hamas way. Gaza has been badly treated. The unity government needs to pay the salaries of the employees & work to get the siege lifted. Gaza is a part of Palestine & deserves better.

8 ) Rod Gillis / Canada
05/07/2014 21:32
Whether it be Hamas or the PA who is in charge in Gaza, it is clear that neither is policing the indiscriminate firing of rockets into Israel by its citizens. From this inaction, it is clear that they condone the behavior just as Hamas "approved" the kidnapping of the three Israeli teenagers. How do they ever expect to reach any kind of peace agreement when even their leaders are so steeped in hate?

9 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
06/07/2014 11:43
The Palestinian funnies: "...Hamas is not ruling the Gaza Strip..." If it wasn't so pathetically phony it might be funny. Gives you a great picture of how miserable Palestinian humour is.
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