Hamas says party united against UN bid

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Hamas is united in its rejection of President Mahmoud Abbas’ bid for UN membership despite reports of internal divisions, a party spokesman said Saturday.

Fawzi Barhoum told Ma’an there was “no controversy” within the movement, and that all party decisions were being decided in comprehensive consultations with officials.

The spokesman said comments made Saturday by Hamas chief-in-exile Khaled Mashaal in Tehran reflected the party position clearly and without ambiguity.

Mashaal said resistance was the only option left for Palestinians at a conference in the Iranian capital, The Associated Press reported.

“Palestinians must resort to resistance no matter how costly it is, until Palestine is free and Israel is destroyed,” Mashaal said.

Barhoum warned against attempts to “drive a wedge” between Hamas leaders, saying efforts to sow discord within the party would not succeed or “bring those who do it any good.”

He added: “Hamas confirms the credibility of its leaders, as we all adopt the same stance and stress the same issues.”

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri also downplayed reports of controversy within the party.

He dismissed a recent report in the London-based Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper which said recent comments by Prime Minister in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh did not reflect the party’s official stance.

Haniyeh has repeatedly criticized Abbas’ bid for full membership of the United Nations as a unilateral move and urged the president not to “beg for a state.”

Abu Zuhri said Haniyeh’s comments were in line with the party’s stance that the UN bid was a potentially dangerous unilateral move.

“An independent state should be established on liberated lands first, rather than declaring a state while occupation continues,” Abu Zuhri said.

Abbas told reporters on Saturday that while Hamas officials publicly slammed the UN bid, several Hamas leaders had phoned him privately to congratulate him on the initiative.

Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip after ousting forces loyal to Abbas’ Fatah party in 2007.

The party’s leadership is in exile in Damascus.

(www.maannews.net / 01.10.2011)

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