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Times of Israel covers PMW-exposed sermon by Abbas' advisor criticizing Hamas' exploitation of Palestinian deaths for media coverage

Sue Surkes  |

Abbas adviser: Hamas is ‘sending Gazans to their deaths for good headlines’

PA cleric Mahmoud al-Habbash accuses Gazan terror group of 'trading in suffering and blood,' says it 'no longer fools' Palestinian people
By Sue Surkes | 8 April 2018

Hamas is deliberately sending Gazan civilians to their deaths to grab good headlines, a senior adviser to Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas charged.

Referring to the current round of clashes between Palestinians and Israeli forces on the Gaza-Israel border, in which some two dozen Palestinians have been killed, Mahmoud al-Habbash — the PA’s top cleric and Abbas’s adviser on religious and Islamic affairs — ridiculed Hamas’s “emotional stories of heroism,” saying they would be more appropriate inside Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa Mosque, “after they liberated it.”

Al-Habbash said in a sermon on Friday — broadcast on PA TV and picked up and translated by the Israeli watchdog group Palestinian Media Watch — that the Palestinian population was no longer being fooled by Hamas and was backing the Palestine Liberation Organization, which is also chaired by Abbas.

Hamas was “selling illusions,” he went on, “trading in suffering and blood, trading in victims” so that it could make strong declarations on TV.

“These [Hamas] acts of ‘heroism’ don’t fool anyone anymore,” he said. “The Palestinian people…sides with the PLO.”