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PA/Fatah turn against Hamas - after initially cheering their Oct. 7 attack

Nan Jacques Zilberdik  |
  •  Hamas only interested in getting rich, no concern for Palestinian civilians or Palestinian cause - PA and Fatah criticism

  • Fatah: “Hamas’ leader and its institutions” took “billions” for themselves, “instead of economically reviving the residents”

  • Civilian eyewitnesses in Gaza: Hamas steals the humanitarian aid: “Aid arrives, but the [Palestinian] people doesn’t get any of it”

  • Every aid vehicle is captured by Hamas and sold to people at a price 100 times higher…However, they say that they are carrying out Jihad for Allah” - Abbas’ advisor

  • Hamas confiscates the humanitarian aid instead of distributing to residents – official PA TV

  • “Hamas is not connected to the Palestinian people’s interests” - Abbas’ advisor

  • Hamas “stole from Satan the attribute of domineering, they exceeded him in weaving plots from the threads of lies and fraudThey boasted about how they made the decision based on their own opinion to carry out the act that their organization carried out on Oct. 7” - official PA daily

  • Two weeks into the war, Hamas Political Bureau member admitted: The tunnels are for “Hamas’ defense and protection,” not for civilians. Civilians are “the UN’s responsibility”

  • Top Fatah official praises Hamas’ massacre Oct. 7 for “erasing Israel’s reputation as a state, [trampling] the Arabs’ heads with its boots” 

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After months of calling for unity with Hamas, following its Oct. 7 attack on Israel, PA and Fatah are now incessantly condemning Hamas that it never acts out of concern for the “Palestinian cause” or for the Palestinian people but only for its own gain.

Palestinian Media Watch has already documented some of the PA and Fatah’s sporadic criticism of Hamas, but the criticism is becoming fiercer as more testimonies from civilians in Gaza surface. Now, the PA/Fatah present Hamas as the enemy of the Palestinian people.

Significantly, the criticism is not for Hamas’ slaughter of Israelis on October 7, nor for its holding of the Israelis hostages. What the PA and Fatah are attacking is the selfishness of Hamas leaders and the fact that they only accumulate wealth at the expense of the Gazan civilian population, while they deliberately contribute to the constant deterioration of “the economic and social status” of people in the Gaza Strip.

Via its Awdah TV channel, PA Chairman Abbas’ Fatah Movement expressed harsh criticism, asking where “the billions” that Hamas has received have gone, and sarcastically mocked Hamas, stating that instead of caring for the Gazan civilians, Hamas “preferred to give them the gift of Oct. 7, because there was not enough death in the Gaza Strip.” While the PA/Fatah have supported and defended Hamas’ murdering and kidnapping of Israelis on October 7, they criticize Hamas for not realizing that Israel would retaliate which has brought “death … to the Gaza Strip”:

Fatah-run Awdah TV host: Where did the billions go that the Hamas Movement received from Qatar under American and Israeli supervision? Hamas’ investments in European states and Arab states have made headlines... Hundreds of companies and investments and billions for Hamas’ leaders and its institutions.But the economic and social status of our people in the Gaza Strip has continuously deteriorated, and the suicide rates in the Gaza Strip have been the highest in the region. Therefore, Hamas, instead of economically reviving the residents with the money it has, preferred to give them the gift of Oct. 7 [2023] (i.e., Hamas’ launch of the 2023 Gaza war;), because there was not enough death in the Gaza Strip.

[Fatah Commission of Information and Culture, Facebook page, April 29,2024]

In February, Abbas’ advisor Al-Habbash posted the following statement, written by one of the first founders of Hamas, who since left the movement, telling how Hamas terrorists get themselves rich:

Posted text: Every aid vehicle is captured by Hamas and sold to people at a price 100 times higher. Every vehicle that brings goods is bought by them in exchange for some profit, and then they sell it at a price 200 times higher. However, they say that they are carrying out Jihad for Allah…”

[PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ Advisor on Religious Affairs and Islamic Relations Mahmoud Al-Habbash, Facebook page,
Feb. 29, 2024]

Civilian eyewitnesses in Gaza have corroborated this, explaining they don’t receive any of the humanitarian aid because Hamas either sells the aid at enormous prices or distributes it to people they favor:

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Woman 1: “We can’t take from the aid packages. They [Hamas] distribute them to certain people. I have sick people with me. I’m sick, my son has diabetes, my husband is sick…

Woman 2: “They [Hamas] distribute the vegetables to certain people and not to others. There are people who every night have vegetables arrive for them to the tent. We see it, but we can’t speak because whoever speaks gets beaten.” 

Man 1: “They [Hamas] are selling the tents. Aid arrives and they sell it. A box of halva that arrived as aid is sold for 40 [Israeli] shekels (just over $10 -Ed.)… Baby formula, oil, milk, everything, everything. The aid arrives, but I swear by Allah that the people doesn’t get any of it.” …

Man 2: For 3 days I go out at 3:00-4:00 a.m. to receive [aid], and to this day I have not received it.”

[Fatah Commission of Information and Culture, Facebook page Feb. 5, 2024]

Posted text: “Favoritism and partisanship are taking control of the aid in the Gaza Strip (i.e., humanitarian aid entering during the 2023 Gaza war; see note below)”

Official PA TV also reported from the Strip that the Gaza residents don’t know where the aid is going because Hamas members “are confiscating the aid products":

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Official PA TV host: “You said that it is stamped on these products (i.e., humanitarian aid to Gaza) that they are not for sale. Then how are they [for sale] at sales points, stands, or stores? …  They should not be for sale because they are aid products, but the resident is forced to buy the aid products that were supposed to reach him for free.”

Official PA TV reporter in Deir Al-Balah, Gaza: “In some places where there is still a certain [level of] rule by members of the Hamas Movement, they are confiscating the aid products. Where do these products go? Where are the storehouses where they store the aid products? The residents don’t know.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Facebook page, Feb. 26, 2024]

Two weeks into the war, Hamas Political Bureau member Musa Abu Marzouq openly admitted that Hamas is a selfish movement who built tunnels for the protection and defense of its terrorists. It is not concerned about the protection of Gazan civilians but believes that is the responsibility of the UN:

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RT Arabic interviewer: “Some people hold you [Hamas] responsible for the deaths of thousands of civilians in the Gaza Strip, women and children. Some people think that the [Hamas] Movement is morally and politically responsible because it decided to carry out the Oct. 7 attack (i.e., launch of Hamas’ terror war).”

Hamas Political Bureau member Musa Abu Marzouq: No! The Oct. 7 attack was against military personnel (sic., over 1,000 civilians were murdered)! … They [Israel] are the ones who are targeting civilians morning and night… They are killing women and children… Our responsibility is to liberate our land.

Interviewer: “Is Hamas not responsible for protecting them? Some people wonder… why someone (i.e., Hamas) who built 500 km. of tunnels didn’t build shelters for civilians to seek refuge in during the bombings?

Musa Abu Marzouq: We built the tunnels because we have no means of defending ourselves against [Israeli] killing and targeting. These tunnels are meant to protect us [Hamas] from warplanes. We are fighting from inside the tunnels. As for the Gaza Strip, everyone knows that 75% of its residents are refugees, and it is the UN’s responsibility to protect the refugees.

[RT Arabic (Russia), Oct. 27, 2023]

Al-Habbash recently referred to Abu Marzouq’s statement above and another newer one where Abu Marzouq expressed indifference to a possible Israeli attack on Rafah. Al-Habbash criticized Abu Marzouq for not being “responsible” and not “considering the interests” of Gazan civilians:

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ Advisor on Religious Affairs and Islamic Relations Mahmoud Al-Habbash: “One of the senior Hamas officials [Musa Abu Marzouq] said that they are not responsible for the Gaza Strip, the one who is responsible for [the Gaza residents] are the UN and UNRWA, they are only responsible for themselves – this is the same man who returned yesterday [May 5, 2024] to say in one of the interviews: ‘[Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu is threatening to invade Rafah? Go on, let him invade and eliminate us.’ Is this a responsible statement? Is this a national statement? Is this consideration for the interests, suffering, and pain of two million people who are living in the Gaza Strip?

[PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ Advisor on Religious Affairs and Islamic Relations Mahmoud Al-Habbash, Facebook page, May 6, 2024]

The PA and Fatah have praised Hamas’ attack against Israel on Oct. 7, and Hamas’ following war efforts, as here expressed by Fatah official Abbas Zaki:

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Fatah Central Committee member Abbas Zaki: “Oct. 7 [2023] came (i.e., Hamas’ attack and massacre). No one knows how it came, but the people of Gaza – men – erased Israel’s reputation as a state, [trampling] the Arabs’ heads with its boots, whose army is undefeatable, and the myth of [its] supremacy. The resistance factions (i.e., Hamas) returned it to being under their feet.”

[Fatah Central Committee member Abbas Zaki, Facebook page,
April 28, 2024]

The PA and Fatah have also continuously stressed the need for “unity” with Hamas. But now they are realizing that Hamas is not at all interested in unity or even in the “Palestinian cause.” Abbas’ advisor stated it as follows:

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PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ Advisor on Religious Affairs and Islamic Relations Mahmoud Al-Habbash: “Hamas is actually not connected to the Palestinian agenda and is not connected to the Palestinian people’s interests. Hamas is connected to its mother, and its mother is the Muslim Brotherhood. Hamas is expressing the Muslim Brotherhood’s interests, and not the Palestinian people’s interests... They have said this openly, when one of them asked the Hamas masses in the Gaza Strip to swear allegiance to the Muslim Brotherhood.”

[PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ Advisor on Religious Affairs and Islamic Relations Mahmoud Al-Habbash, Facebook page, May 6, 2024]

A regular columnist of the official PA daily reached the same conclusion, stating that Hamas:

“is a contradiction and enemy of Palestinian nationalism”

“does not believe in an independent Palestinian state; from its perspective, all of Palestine is not a goal, but rather a means that meets the Muslim Brotherhood organization’s interests.”

does not care about the life of the Palestinian person, his economic status and livelihood, or his institutions, except for as much as this serves it. Its top priority remains accumulating money for it and for the Muslim Brotherhood organization.”

“has done nothing to defend the civilians and ensure their needs. Its concern was to secure all of its things inside the tunnels.”

“discovered how much money it is making and how many political achievements it is recording thanks to the confrontation with Israel.”

“has turned itself into a contractor of confrontations with Israel without considering what is liable to happen to the Palestinian people – what is important is what it [Hamas] will achieve.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida website, May 6, 2024]

Another regular columnist for the official PA daily has also harshly criticized Hamas for launching the war against Israel without coordination with the PA, without a plan, and without concern for the Palestinian civilians:

Another regular columnist for the official PA daily has also harshly criticized Hamas for launching the war against Israel without coordination with the PA, without a plan, and without concern for the Palestinian civilians:

“They [Hamas] stole from Satan the attribute of domineering, they exceeded him in weaving plots from the threads of lies and fraud, and they ensnared those with sick souls and the mindless. They boasted about how they made the decision based on their own opinion to carry out the act that their organization carried out on Oct. 7 [2023] (i.e., Hamas’ invasion and massacre to launch its terror war on Israel)… but they did not understand what a trap they had fallen into, until after the religious Zionist system’s war machine (i.e., the Israeli army) had crushed the flesh, blood, and bones of more than 110,000 Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip, together with the destruction of their homes, schools, universities, mosques, churches, factories, and cultural centers.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, March 17, 2024]

A Fatah official in the southern Gaza Strip added perspective, stressing that Hamas leaders are far away from the war, making decisions whose impact on the Palestinian people they will never experience themselves:

Posted text: “When [PA President] Mahmoud Abbas spoke at the UN [in May 2023] and told the world: ‘We are a weak and isolated people, protect us from the Jews’ – They [Hamas] laughed at and ridiculed him on the websites and social media… One who lives as a refugee and lives in war knows what the word ‘protect us’ means. One who lives in hotels in Lebanon, Qatar, and Turkey – he and his children and his grandchildren – will never know the meaning of the word, because he does not experience the fear and starvation… He does not know how it is to walk around every day and search for food for your children, and you cannot buy [it] because of the mafia of sellers who have crushed the people of the Gaza Strip by raising prices…

A real leader is one who protects his people, enables it to live in dignity, and defends the Palestinian person, which is the most precious thing we have – and not one who gambles, sets out on adventures, and places his people in danger of ruin.

[Fatah Movement – Bethlehem Branch, Telegram channel, Feb. 19, 2024]

Likewise, a columnist from the official PA daily expressed outrage at Hamas leaders living in safety far away from the Gaza Strip, and their view expressed by Hamas Political Bureau Deputy ChairmanAbu Marzouq (see above) that the UN is responsible for the citizens of Gaza and that Hamas terrorists only needs to protect themselves:

“What kind of contempt is this for the flood of blood of the Palestinian people (a reference to “the Al-Aqsa Flood,” Hamas' name for its terror war against Israel)…  When will those who use the religion for goals connected to this world and to government stop preparing and allowing annihilation under the headline of ‘Jihad’? … Senior officials in the armed branch of the Muslim Brotherhood organization in Palestine, which is called Hamas, are using the Palestinian people’s blood, resources, souls, suffering, and tragedies as a testing ground, even if the price is tens of thousands of Martyrs and many times more wounded people…

Hamas Political Bureau member Muhammad Nazzal… sees these numbersas ‘just a bill’ that needs to be paid. In this he relies on the interpretation given by his [Hamas] Political Bureau Deputy Chairman Musa Abu Marzouq to the sense of ‘responsibility,’ when the latter responded to a question on the tunnels and answered that they were meant to protect Hamas and its leaders, while protecting the civilians in the Gaza Strip is the responsibility of the occupation state Israel and UNRWA.

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Feb. 12, 2024]

Similarly, another columnist for the official PA daily called Hamas’ “subordination” to Iran “the greatest plot” against the Palestinian people, who will “demand an accounting from Hamas”:

"This sinking in the swamp of subordination to foreigners will constitute a strong incentive for the Palestinian people to demand an accounting from Hamas in every refugee camp, town, village, and city in the homeland and the diaspora, and in every family that lost its loved ones, until these people will understand that the Palestinian blood is only given for the homeland, and that spilling it in vain for foreigners and foreign agendas is ‘the greatest plot.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Feb. 22, 2024]

As early as February 2024, the official PA daily printed a column with listing four steps Hamas should take to “stop the war” with Israel “immediately”:

“Hamas must leave the cycle of organizational egoism, and understand that a national responsibility is imposed on it to stop the war immediately and without delay.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Feb. 22, 2024]

The four steps demanded by the PA:

1. Hamas should be “flexible” regarding the Israeli hostages:“

The first principle is the Israeli hostages in [Hamas’] possession. Currently it is essential that Hamas be more flexible and realistic and release them under reasonable conditions. If Hamas takes this step, it will negate one of the central justifications for Israel continuing its war, at least in the eyes of Washington and the world.”

 

2. Hamas should “abandon the idea of exclusive rule in the Gaza Strip.”
 

3. Hamas should “announce that it is in favor of international law and the international institutions’ resolutions and that the Gaza Strip no longer constitutes a security threat for Israel.”
 

4.Hamas should agree to “transfer a limited number of members of its military leadership to an Arab state of its choosing.”

Residents of Rafah in the Gaza Strip also expressed their discontent and anger with Hamas, first over Hamas affiliated gangs murdering a Rafah resident for apparently opposing Hamas, and then in general over Hamas’ rule in the Strip since 2007 that has steadily harmed the residents with only the “external agenda” of Iran in mind:

PMW Arabic blurb.png

 

Text: “An important statement from the households and families of the Rafah district

To the public of our Palestinian people…

The households and families of the Rafah district convey sincere condolences to the Al-Arja family following the death as a Martyr of its murdered son, Muhammad Saleh Al-Arja, who died as a Martyr from the lowly treasonous gunfire of militias affiliated with the Hamas Movement.

In light of dozens of crimes and cases of murder, and in light of the absence of law and the absence of a feeling of security for the Palestinian civilian, and the spread of cases of murder and destruction, we emphasize:

 

1) We, the households and families of Rafah, hold Hamas responsible for the death as a Martyr of Muhammad Al-Arja, and other residents, since Oct. 7 [2023] (i.e., Hamas’ invasion and massacre to launch its terror war on Israel).

3) For years we have been exercising restraint in light of what our people in the Gaza Strip are undergoing, whose results after Oct. 7 are an occupation of the land, killing of people, and absence of justice

4) The households and families of the Rafah district emphasize that any attempt made this time to divert the attention from what is happening by Hamas parties who are acting like militias will encounter resistance with all force from the families and households. In the coming days we will have our say.

5) The Gaza Strip is bearing what mountains cannot bear. And the one who led the Gaza Strip to this stage will bear all the results. History will have no mercy on the one who conspired against the Palestinian residents, and provided the Palestinian independent decision[-making] over the Gaza Strip as a guarantee to others for his external agenda (refers to Iran-backed Hamas -Ed.), and in order to gain forbidden political money at the expense of the blood and organs of our people…

[“The Sons of the Homeland,” Telegram channel, Feb. 16, 2024]

Similar criticism of the entire Hamas rule in the Gaza Strip since its coup in 2007 was expressed in the official PA daily already in December 2023:

Headline: “If only the Gaza Strip would go back in time to 2005 and we would rearrange our affairs”

“In August 2005 Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip, evacuated its settlements, and leveled them before it left… The [Palestinian] hopes and aspirations were great, and a thought prevailed that the Gaza Strip would turn into the commercial and financial lungs of the independent Palestinian state… people and companies began to speak about investment opportunities, about the possibilities, and about the horizons that suddenly appeared within reach…

Let’s ask what would have been if we had returned to 2005 and reassembled the scene, so that it would lead to this prosperity and so that the Gaza Strip would be the lungs of the Palestinian state?the significance of the question lies in how we will think together how we reached the catastrophe and destruction that we have reached, we will appreciate this experience, and we will avoid its repetition in the future…

We wonder what would have been if we had been more organized, if we had a society that believes in the rule of law, and if we would have distanced ourselves from using force to settle our internal [Hamas-Fatah] disagreements? What would have been if Hamas had not carried out its coup (i.e., the 2007 Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip; see note below), and if the rift, disconnection of the Gaza Strip from the West Bank, and the absence of the legal national leadership’s control over all the homeland’s territory and the decision-making had not happened?

Why have all the attempts to restore the homeland’s unity failed? Why has the rift deepened and a different political and ideological system than the one in the West Bank formed in the Gaza Strip? Was it necessary that the Gaza Strip enter five rounds of fighting with Israel, in which thousands of civilians would be killed and the resources of the Gaza Strip would be destroyed, while each time we attempt to rebuild?”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Dec. 28, 2023]

The following are longer excerpts of the statements cited above and additional anti-Hamas criticism:

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ Advisor on Religious Affairs and Islamic Relations Mahmoud Al-Habbash: “Hamas has given Israel all the excuses. First, to separate the Gaza Strip from the West Bank and eliminate the idea of the Palestinian state and the plan of the Palestinian state. Second, to carry out six wars against the Gaza Strip. This is the sixth war to which the Gaza Strip is being subjected (refers to the 2023 Gaza war; see note below -Ed.). The Gaza Strip was destroyed five times before that, and this is the sixth time. We have lost thousands of victims without anything in return, without anything…

As one of the senior Hamas officials [Musa Abu Marzouq] said that they are not responsible for the Gaza Strip, the one who is responsible for [the Gaza residents] are the UN and UNRWA, they are only responsible for themselves – this is the same man who returned yesterday [May 5, 2024] to say in one of the interviews: ‘[Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu is threatening to invade Rafah? Go on, let him invade and eliminate us.’ Is this a responsible statement? Is this a national statement? Is this consideration for the interests, suffering, and pain of two million people who are living in the Gaza Strip?”

[PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ Advisor on Religious Affairs and Islamic Relations Mahmoud Al-Habbash, Facebook page, May 6, 2024]

Mahmoud Al-Habbash also serves as PA Supreme Shari’ah Judge and Chairman of the Supreme Council for Shari'ah Justice.

Posted text: “This is what friend Dr. Khader Mahjaz, from the generation of the first founders of the Hamas Movement who left it, wrote:

Every aid vehicle is captured by Hamas and sold to people at a price 100 times higher.

Every vehicle that brings goods is bought by them in exchange for some profit, and then they sell it at a price 200 times higher.

However, they say that they are carrying out Jihad for Allah, in order to justify the victory that they hope to declare at the end of the war (i.e., the 2023 Gaza war; see note below).

‘They say, “This is from Allah,” but it is not from Allah. And they speak untruth about Allah while they know’ [Quran 3:78, Sahih International translation].”

[PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ Advisor on Religious Affairs and Islamic Relations Mahmoud Al-Habbash, Facebook page, Feb. 29, 2024]

Excerpt of a column by Bassem Barhoum, regular columnist for the official PA daily

Headline: “What must be said about Hamas”

“What must be said about Hamas that is affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood is:

  1. It is a contradiction and enemy of Palestinian nationalism, as it not [only] refused to join the PLO, but has taken action against it all the time. It did everything, including agreeing on a ceasefire with Israel in order to harm the Fatah Movement’s position in particular, due to it being the backbone of the PLO, and the national movement in general.
  2. Hamas does not believe in an independent Palestinian state; from its perspective, all of Palestine is not a goal, but rather a means that meets the Muslim Brotherhood organization’s interests. It cooperated with Israel so that the cutoff of the Strip from Gaza (sic., evidently “of the Gaza Strip from the West Bank”) would continue, at the height of the war (i.e., the 2023 Gaza war; see note below). The Gaza Strip was destroyed, its residents were killed, and Hamas is coordinated with what [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu and the Israeli extremist right-wing are striving for, through its adherence to the cutoff and [the Hamas-Fatah] rift. It firmly opposes any attempt to unite the Palestinian state’s territories.
  3. Hamas does not care about the life of the Palestinian person, his economic status and livelihood, or his institutions, except for as much as this serves it.Its top priority remains accumulating money for it and for the Muslim Brotherhood organization. Currently, at the height of the war, Hamas has done nothing to defend the civilians and ensure their needs. Its concern was to secure all of its things inside the tunnels.
  4. Hamas had a joint interest with the extremist Israeli right-wing in thwarting the Oslo Accords; there was an unwritten understanding between it and this right-wing that it is necessary to harm the chances for peace and prevent the strengthening of any national Palestinian entity that is likely to turn into a state. This understanding was clearer with Netanyahu, who enabled the Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip in order to prevent Palestinian territorial unity and to prevent the existence of any united Palestinian entity in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem.
  5. Hamas discovered how much money it is making and how many political achievements it is recording thanks to the confrontation with Israel, but did Hamas have any political plan that it is striving to realize? It has turned itself into a contractor of confrontations with Israel without considering what is liable to happen to the Palestinian peoplewhat is important is what it will achieve. Even when it speaks in a winding and tactical way about a Palestinian state in the June 4 [1967] borders, with the other hand it is using all means to weaken the Palestinian entity, the PA, which is the entity that is likely to become an independent state. Currently, at a time when a chance of international recognition of this state shines on the horizon, and it could be that it will force Washington to recognize it if the Gaza Strip will unite with the West Bank, Hamas is sounding another tune: Maintaining its exclusive control over the Gaza Strip.

 

Hamas has no national plan. Even when it carried out the ‘Al-Aqsa Flood’ operation on Oct. 7 [2023] (i.e., Hamas' name for its terror war against Israel), it did not say that the goal is a Palestinian state, and did not say that it will put an end to the rift, but rather it spoke in slogans, or about goals that are closer to slogans than national goals.

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida website, May 6, 2024]

Excerpt of a column by Muwaffaq Matar, Fatah Revolutionary Council member and regular columnist for the official PA daily

Headline: “Is there a samurai in Hamas?”

“Japanese writer Kobayashi Akira wrote under the title ‘Death with Honor – the Japanese Philosophy of Suicide, Between Myth and Truth’ (sic.,) as follows: ‘Those who were defeated in battle or suspected of treason were said to have wished to wipe away their dishonor in a wholehearted show of their inner devotion. For this reason, seppuku was seen as a fitting way for a samurai to die.’

We remind the heads of the armed branch of the Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine, which is called ‘Hamas,’ of what was said above and of what they must do, if they decide to put an end to the series of failures that they have brought upon themselves…

They speak about the principle of consultation after [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas selected [PLO Executive Committee member] Dr. Muhammad Mustafa as prime minister and imposed the establishment of the [new PA] government upon him (refers to Hamas criticism that they were not consulted with on the establishment of the new PA government -Ed.), as if the Palestinian people forgot that they planned and carried out their bloody coup while [Hamas Political Bureau Chairman] Ismail Haniyeh was prime minister, after being officially appointed by President Mahmoud Abbas by virtue of the basic law (refers to 2007 Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip; see note below -Ed.)! …

They refer to the authorities bestowed upon the president by virtue of the amended basic law of 2003 to select a prime minister and impose the establishment of the government upon him as ‘decisions made based on his own opinion.’ They view the establishment of a new government, which according to the first clause of the letter of appointment will take upon itself saving the Palestinian people and stopping the bloody Zionist annihilation campaign in the Gaza Strip (i.e., the 2023 Gaza war; see note below), as ‘superficial measures devoid of content.’ Therefore, we must remind them of the philosophy of suicide.

They stole from Satan the attribute of domineeringness, they exceeded him in weaving plots from the threads of lies and fraud, and they ensnared those with sick souls and the mindless. They boasted about how they made the decision based on their own opinion to carry out the act that their organization carried out on Oct. 7 [2023] (i.e., Hamas’ invasion and massacre to launch its terror war on Israel)… but they did not understand what a trap they had fallen into, until after the religious Zionist system’s war machine (i.e., the Israeli army) had crushed the flesh, blood, and bones of more than 110,000 Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip, together with the destruction of their homes, schools, universities, mosques, churches, factories, and cultural centers.

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, March 17, 2024]

Muhammad Mustafa also serves as head of the PLO Economic Department and is a former Deputy Prime Minister and former Minister of National Economy.

Kobayashi’s article, published on the website nippon.com on May 23, 2023, is entitled “Death with Honor? Behind the Myths of Seppuku”

2007 Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip - Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah won the 2005 Palestinian Authority Presidential election. However, Hamas won the 2006 parliamentary elections in both the Gaza Strip and West Bank, with a majority of 74 out of 132 seats, to Fatah’s 45 seats. Fatah’s rule of the PA Presidency and Hamas’ rule of the PA government led to friction and eventually armed conflict between Hamas and Fatah. Hamas defeated Fatah militarily in the Gaza Strip in 2007, and since then Hamas rules in Gaza while the PA continues to rule the West Bank under Fatah.

Excerpt of a column by Muwaffaq Matar, Fatah Revolutionary Council member and regular columnist for the official PA dailyHeadline: “The blood destruction of the Gaza Strip and ‘Hamas’ victory’ in Tehran!”

They [Hamas] speak enthusiastically about the ‘victory,’ but this time – and for the last 137 days – [they do so] from Tehran, the capital of ‘the land of Persia’ (refers to the 2023 Gaza war; see note below -Ed.). They ignore the efforts of the Palestinian [PA] leadership vis-à-vis states and governments… for an immediate ceasefire and saving the necks of our people from the guillotine of the Israeli occupation system. But the heads of the Tehran movement in Hamas insist on sending the Palestinian leadership and large Arab states a poisoned message, whose headline is: ‘Tehran is our ruler and determines our decisions!’

Hamas Spokesman Osama Hamdan stood to speak about his organization’s positions, with dozens of microphones in front of him, but the satellite channels that broadcast live his press conference and his false words about ‘victory and victories’ are the same ones that prove he is lying, when they broadcast live reports from the reality and from the ground about the events of the second Nakba (i.e., “the catastrophe,” the Palestinian term for the establishment of the State of Israel)…

Hamdan speaks about victory, while the Zionist and immoral occupation (i.e., Israeli) army is pushing lines of tens of thousands of uprooted Palestinian civilians into the fields of fire… And those who see the sights of destruction in the cities, towns, and refugee camps of the Gaza Strip would have thought they were taken from World War II documents, if a professional journalist had not stood nobly and read out his announcement with pain and bitterness, as if he is saying to the heavens: ‘Do not believe their talk from [foreign] capitals, from hotels, and from press conference halls on “victory and victories”… because the truth is determined to triumph the false claims of the speaker. Here the human blood of more than 110,000 Palestinian civilians – Martyrs and wounded alike – is still dripping profusely from the steel arms of the colonialist and racist Zionist destruction campaign machine, since Hamas’ Oct. 7 [2023] (i.e., Hamas’ invasion and massacre to launch its terror war on Israel).’”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Feb. 22, 2024]

The following is a statement from Fatah Director of Media Relations in the Gaza Strip Saleh Saqallah, a Fatah official in the southern Gaza Strip -Ed.

Posted text: “I will say a few words with your permission: When [PA President] Mahmoud Abbas spoke at the UN [in May 2023] and told the world: ‘We are a weak and isolated people, protect us from the Jews’ – They laughed at and ridiculed him on the websites and social media, to the point that one of the speakers of the [Hamas-affiliated Islamic] Faction at Birzeit University turned the word ‘protect us’ into propaganda material to ridicule Fatah, the PA, and Mahmoud Abbas, because he considered the Gaza Strip to be stronger than North Korea, Russia, and China…

Now we are begging the entire world just to bring in flour and food to the residents of the Gaza Strip who are dying of hunger and have begun to eat the food of animals and birds, and the food of cats and dogs (refers to 2023 Gaza war; see note below -Ed.).

Our most lofty wish has now become to bring in flour, tents, and caravans instead of ruined homes where we lived…

One who lives as a refugee and lives in war knows what the word ‘protect us’ means. One who lives in hotels in Lebanon, Qatar, and Turkey – he and his children and his grandchildren – will never know the meaning of the word, because he does not experience the fear and starvation… He does not know what it is to hold the hand of your son or daughter, and what remains of your tent, with the tanks behind you, and you do not know which direction to go…

He does not know what it is to be uprooted from the northern Gaza Strip to the south walking by foot, while holding your hands up in the cold…

He does not know what it is to have your son or daughter or father die, and you go to the cemetery and do not find an available grave, and you search for any pit that would cover him and a tin board to lay on top of him, and you deceive yourself and say: I buried him and am leaving the cemetery.

He does not know how it is to walk around every day and search for food for your children, and you cannot buy [it] because of the mafia of sellers who have crushed the people of the Gaza Strip by raising prices, and no one can put a limit on them…

He does not know that diseases that have passed from the world have returned to the people of the Gaza Strip – cholera, hepatitis, and all the dangerous diseases – because of an absence of treatment, contamination, flowing sewage, and the trash that is prevalent in all the streets of the Gaza Strip.

A real leader is one who protects his people, enables it to live in dignity, and defends the Palestinian person, which is the most precious thing we have – and not one who gambles, sets out on adventures, and places his people in danger of ruin.

May Allah help us – Saleh Saqallah”

[Fatah Movement – Bethlehem Branch, Telegram channel, Feb. 19, 2024]

 

Excerpt of a column by Muwaffaq Matar, Fatah Revolutionary Council member and regular columnist for the official PA daily

Headline: “The Palestinian people’s blood”

“What kind of contempt is this for the flood of blood of the Palestinian people (an apparent reference to “the Al-Aqsa Flood,” Hamas' name for its terror war against Israel; see note below -Ed.), for their bleeding wounds, and for their new Nakba (i.e., “the catastrophe,” Palestinian term for the establishment of the State of Israel)? When will those who use the religion for goals connected to this world and to government stop preparing and allowing annihilation under the headline of ‘Jihad’? And who gave the servants of the foreign external agendas the legitimacy… to hand over the Palestinian national decision-making to forces and states in the region? …

What is happening is a betrayal of the moral and human values and the principles of divine law, which sanctified the human soul and forbid killing a person unjustly or pushing him towards annihilation under the headline of ‘a sacrifice and atonement of the homeland.’ What is happening is that senior officials in the armed branch of the Muslim Brotherhood organization in Palestine, which is called Hamas, are using the Palestinian people’s blood, resources, souls, suffering, and tragedies as a testing ground, even if the price is tens of thousands of Martyrs and many times more wounded people and amputees – most of them women, children, and elderly – in less than 100 days! And it is as if the Palestinian people has not paid the bill for their failed attempts at government and armed activity since 2007 (refers to Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip; see note below -Ed.), and even prior to that, with the blood of its men and women! …

Hamas Political Bureau member Muhammad Nazzal… sees these numbers – which have shocked every person with a heart and conscience from every race and sex and from among all believers in the divine religions and the philosophical faiths – as ‘just a bill’ that needs to be paid. In this he relies on the interpretation given by his [Hamas] Political Bureau Deputy Chairman Musa Abu Marzouq to the sense of ‘responsibility,’ when the latter responded to a question on the tunnels and answered that they were meant to protect Hamas and its leaders, while protecting the civilians in the Gaza Strip is the responsibility of the occupation state Israel and UNRWA.

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Feb. 12, 2024]

 

Excerpt of a column by Bassem Barhoum, regular columnist for the official PA daily

Headline: “What is the meaning of absolute victory for [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu, and what is the alternative?”

“Not only Israel needs to conduct a re-examination, even though it is the attacking side, the side that is occupying another people. The Palestinian people also needs to conduct a re-examination. There is no need here to go back to the initial stages of the conflict, despite the importance of this, but at least [we must go back to the period] since the two peoples decided to sign a peace agreement, which was likely to launch a sustainable peace prospect – especially because in the first years, the [Oslo] Peace Accords gained widespread popular support among the two sides. Even the moment when the Israeli right-wing assassinated [then Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak] Rabin at the start of November 1995, hundreds of thousands of peace supporters gathered in Tel Aviv, despite a series of suicide operations (i.e., suicide bombings) carried out by Hamas in order to thwart Oslo.

The current problem, and [the one] for most of the time since Oslo, is that the Israeli right-wing that firmly opposes peace is the one who rules in Israel and in the political decision-making. The current Israeli government is the most extremist and the one that most wants to eliminate the Palestinian cause, and therefore there is no hope that it will conduct a re-examination that will lead to true peace. Therefore, the Israeli society must do this.

As for the Palestinian side, the party leading the Palestinian people is the same party that signed the peace accords, and it [Fatah] is still committed to the path of peace. What we, the Palestinians, must re-examine is whether we have behaved correctly over time, and whether we have succeeded in building a cohesive political system. On the other hand, those opposing the Oslo Accords also must re-examine their positions, and particularly Hamas, [which must re-examine] whether its path is what led to the current Palestinian reality, especially in the Gaza Strip, which Israel is dismantling and reoccupying (refers to the 2023 Gaza war; see note below -Ed.)…

The starting point of ending the cycle of violence and the conflict is that each side will stop thinking about eliminating the other, and will seek a creative idea to live alongside each other in two states, or in one bi-national state, or in the framework of a federal or confederal system. What is important is that we stop with the mutual hatred and killing.

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Feb. 25, 2024]

 

Excerpt of a column by Bassem Barhoum, regular columnist for the official PA daily

Headline: “What must Hamas do to stop the destruction of the Gaza Strip?

“Following the American veto [at the UN on a ceasefire resolution], the third in number since the outbreak of the war against the Gaza Strip (i.e., the 2023 Gaza war; see note below), it is essential that we as Palestinians seek practical alternatives for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip…

Perhaps Hamas needs to understand that there is no prospect for continuing the fighting in the Gaza Strip, at least at the current stage, and that every additional day enlarges the tragedy and brings Israel closer to achieving the goal of uprooting [the Palestinians], after it destroyed the Gaza Strip and turned it into an uninhabitable area, according to reports of international humanitarian agencies.

The first principle is the Israeli hostages in [Hamas’] possession. Currently it is essential that Hamas be more flexible and realistic and release them under reasonable conditions. If Hamas takes this step, it will negate one of the central justifications for Israel continuing its war, at least in the eyes of Washington and the world.

The second principle is that Hamas abandon the idea of exclusive rule in the Gaza Stripand cease its tricks on this issue, because the war will not stop as long as this issue is unresolved – especially because the PA and PLO are proposing to Hamas a reasonable possibility of doing this, by it joining the PLO and participating in a Palestinian [PA] government that will unite the Gaza Strip with the West Bank…

The third principle is that Hamas announce that it is in favor of international law and the international institutions’ resolutions and that the Gaza Strip no longer constitutes a security threat for Israel, and agree to arrange the matter of its weapons so that they will be under the supervision of an Arab party.

The fourth principle is that Hamas announce that it agrees to transferring a limited number of members of its military leadership to an Arab state of its choosing,with the exit [from the Gaza Strip] being for a limited period afterwards the expelled people will be able to return to Palestine.

Hamas must leave the cycle of organizational egoism, and understand that a national responsibility is imposed on it to stop the war immediately and without delay and prevent an Israeli invasion of Rafah. It must understand that if it behaves responsibly now, this will be counted to its merit in the future, but if it continues its unrealistic bets, it will bear responsibility for what is liable to occur. If Israel uproots the Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip, it [Hamas] will not be exempt from responsibility for a second Nakba (i.e., “the catastrophe,” Palestinian term for the establishment of the State of Israel) happening to the Palestinian people.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Feb. 22, 2024]

 

Posted text: “For the first time, a statement [against Hamas] in harsh language from the households and families of the Rafah district [in the southern Gaza Strip].”

The image shows a written statement, which was issued after Hamas terrorists murdered a Palestinian civilian named Muhammad Al-Arja in Rafah, evidently over his opposition to Hamas.

Text: “In the name of All Merciful Allah –

An important statement from the households and families of the Rafah district

To the public of our Palestinian people

Blessings and honor to our Palestinian people wherever it is, which is being subjected to the criminal Israeli aggression that harms the Palestinian land and people in all places (i.e., the 2023 Gaza war; see note below)…

The households and families of the Rafah district convey sincere condolences to the Al-Arja family following the death as a Martyr of its murdered son, Muhammad Saleh Al-Arja, who died as a Martyr from the lowly treasonous gunfire of militias affiliated with the Hamas Movement.

In light of dozens of crimes and cases of murder, and in light of the absence of law and the absence of a feeling of security for the Palestinian civilian, and the spread of cases of murder and destruction, we emphasize:

1) We, the households and families of Rafah, hold Hamas responsible for the death as a Martyr of Muhammad Al-Arja, and other residents, since Oct. 7 [2023] (i.e., Hamas’ invasion and massacre to launch its terror war on Israel).

2) This crime of murder and other additional ones require cooperation by our people and its factions against the bats of darkness and the gangs.

3) For years we have been exercising restraint in light of what our people in the Gaza Strip are undergoing, whose results after Oct. 7 are an occupation of the land, killing of people, and absence of justice – in light of this, we emphasize that we stand before a comprehensive revision that will end with standing alongside our people and supporting it, regardless of the results.

4) The households and families of the Rafah district emphasize that any attempt made this time to divert the attention from what is happening by Hamas parties who are acting like militias will encounter resistance with all force from the families and households. In the coming days we will have our say.

5) The Gaza Strip is bearing what mountains cannot bear. And the one who led the Gaza Strip to this stage will bear all the results. History will have no mercy on the one who conspired against the Palestinian residents, and provided the Palestinian independent decision[-making] over the Gaza Strip as a guarantee to others for his external agenda (refers to Iran-backed Hamas -Ed.), and in order to gain forbidden political money at the expense of the blood and organs of our people…

Glory and eternity to the Martyrs who are more honored than us all, freedom to our prisoners, recovery for the wounded, and return for the refugees.

The households and families of the Rafah district – Feb. 16, 2024”

[“The Sons of the Homeland,” Telegram channel, Feb. 16, 2024]

 

Excerpt of a column by Omar Hilmi Al-Ghoul, regular columnist for official PA daily and former advisor to former PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad on national affairs

“Because the [Hamas] coup leadership did not accede to the Egyptian meditation for stopping the war from the first week (i.e., the 2023 Gaza war; see note below), when the [Palestinian] losses were more limited, this exacerbated the rise in the scope of the human losses, primarily among children and women, and the destruction of structures, facilities, infrastructures, and the like.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 21, 2024]

 

Omar Hilmi Al-Ghoul is also a former PLO Central Council member.

Man: “We from the Breika family hold the current Hamas government in the Gaza Strip fully responsible for all that is happening in the western Rafah area. They agreed with us that we would secure the borders, the Saladin [Route] (i.e., the Philadelphi Route), and Zo’rob Square, [and we would take care of] the theft and the aid, and every day we secured everything concerning aid. But today, after a long time that we have secured the aid, the borders, and Zo’rob Square, they [Hamas] shot at us directly and killed Ahmed Shaddad Breika with a direct hit to the head.

[Fatah Commission of Information and Culture, Facebook page,
Dec. 24, 2023]

 

Excerpt of a column by Bassem Barhoum, regular columnist for the official PA daily

Headline: “If only the Gaza Strip would go back in time to 2005 and we would rearrange our affairs”

“In August 2005 Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip, evacuated its settlements, and leveled them before it left. There was a Palestinian-Israeli agreement that the Rafah crossing would remain open 24 hours for the civilians and hundreds of trucks that would arrive through the Kerem Shalom crossing. The agreement also determined that a port would be built without any intervention by Israel, and that the [Yasser Arafat] Airport that the Israeli army destroyed at the start of the second Intifada (i.e., PA terror campaign 2000-2005, more than 1,100 Israelis murdered) would be rebuilt. In the same year, there was much talk about plans to develop the Gaza Strip, about the ways of utilizing the territories where the Israeli settlements and bases had been, and about turning them into agricultural territories with innovative work methods, tourist facilities, or industrial areas.

The hopes and aspirations were great, and a thought prevailed that the Gaza Strip would turn into the commercial and financial lungs of the independent Palestinian state, especially considering the fact that work had already began to produce [natural] gas, which was supposed to bring billions to the [state] coffers and the Palestinian people…

In the same period, people and companies began to speak about investment opportunities, about the possibilities, and about the horizons that suddenly appeared within reach – [there was] talk about a developed service sector and commercial sector that would thrive with the existence of a seaport, airport, and land border crossing working around the clock. The magical coasts of Gaza would become tourist areas, as the Gaza Strip has a coastal strip 41 kilometers in length, a little less than the Syrian coastal strip on the Mediterranean Sea, which is 65 kilometers in length. This means that it is enough for a large port and bathing beaches that could attract internal and external tourism, and that we would see hotels, markets, and industrial areas.

Let’s ask what would have been if we had returned to 2005 and reassembled the scene, so that it would lead to this prosperity and so that the Gaza Strip would be the lungs of the Palestinian state? This may be a painful and bitter question in these difficult circumstances, in which the Gaza Strip is being completely destroyed, is turning into an uninhabitable area, and is witness to a war of annihilation by the Israeli occupation army (i.e., the 2023 Gaza war; see note below). But the significance of the question lies in how we will think together how we reached the catastrophe and destruction that we have reached, we will appreciate this experience, and we will avoid its repetition in the future…

We wonder what would have been if we had been more organized, if we had a society that believes in the rule of law, and if we would have distanced ourselves from using force to settle our internal [Hamas-Fatah] disagreements? What would have been if Hamas had not carried out its coup (i.e., the 2007 Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip; see note below), and if the rift, disconnection of the Gaza Strip from the West Bank, and the absence of the legal national leadership’s control over all the homeland’s territory and the decision-making had not happened?

Why have all the attempts to restore the homeland’s unity failed? Why has the rift deepened and a different political and ideological system than the one in the West Bank formed in the Gaza Strip? Was it necessary that the Gaza Strip enter five rounds of fighting with Israel, in which thousands of civilians would be killed and the resources of the Gaza Strip would be destroyed, while each time we attempt to rebuild?”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Dec. 28, 2023]

 

The second Intifada/The Al-Aqsa Intifada - Palestinian terror campaign 2000-2005, directed and controlled by the PA, during which Palestinians carried out numerous terror attacks including suicide bombings. More than 1,100 Israelis were murdered.

 

Excerpt of a column by Muwaffaq Matar, Fatah Revolutionary Council member and regular columnist for the official PA daily

The following is a response to an IRGC spokesman saying Hamas’ Oct. 7, 2023 invasion and massacre was a response to the assassination of IRGC Quds Force Commander Qasem Soleimani; see note below -Ed.

Headline: “The Iranian Revolutionary Guards [Corps] (IRGC) bomb Hamas!”

“So that we will understand the significance, the consequences, and the goals of the Persian statement precisely at this time, we must bring the words of Head of the Political Bureau of the Muslim Brotherhood Branch in Palestine that is called ‘Hamas’ Khaled Mashaal, who said more than 20 years ago: ‘Hamas is the legal son of the Iranian Islamic revolution.’ Our portion was murder threats from Hamas because we criticized its statements, which proved the correctness of our outlook, according to which Hamas, which is counted among the Muslim Brotherhood, feels complete loathing towards Palestinian nationalism, Arabness, and humanness. It entered as a strong and crucial partner into the plot to negate the national and independent decision-making from the Palestinian people…

If ‘the Iranian operator’ was not certain of the loyalty of its salaried employee, Hamas, the spokesman of the acting ruling system of Iran, which is known as ‘the [Iranian] Revolutionary Guards [Corps],’ would not have said that ‘the Al-Aqsa Flood operation (Hamas' name for its terror war against Israel -Ed.) was one of the operations of revenge for the assassination of Qasem Suleimani.’ …With this cutting statement the perfect and precise coordination between the [Iranian] Ayatollah regime and the religious Zionist system and its current head [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu was revealed,as the goal of them both is clear and open: To empty the Palestinian national liberation movement of its ideology, values, principles, and goals, and to turn it into a mere pawn in the hands of forces and states! …

The regime in Tehran has put an end to the doubts and shown that the heads of Hamas – who played tricks and said that Hamas is a national movement – are lying.But it also gave the occupation system (i.e., Israel) an additional excuse to expand the bloody attack of annihilation against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip, as its military wing took responsibility for the Oct. 7 [2023] operation in the Gaza Strip Envelope settlements (sic., refers to Hamas’ invasion and massacre in towns in sovereign Israel), and gave Benjamin Netanyahu great credit, due to his claim that Hamas is fighting for the Iranian regime…

We think that Hamas will not be cleared of blame, even if all its civilian and military leaders will rush to deny the words of the IRGC spokesman…

They gave the Zionist colonialist and terrorist occupation system excuses to launch a bloody attack of annihilation, which has no precedent in the new era and anywhere in the world, to the point that a worse Nakba than the 1948 Nakba (i.e., “the catastrophe,” the Palestinian term for the establishment of the State of Israel) has befallen our people…

This sinking in the swamp of subordination to foreigners will constitute a strong incentive for the Palestinian people to demand an accounting from Hamas in every refugee camp, town, village, and city in the homeland and the diaspora, and in every family that lost its loved ones, until these people will understand that the Palestinian blood is only given for the homeland, and that spilling it in vain for foreigners and foreign agendas is ‘the greatest plot.’”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Dec. 28, 2023]

Hamas war on Israel October 2023 - At least 1,200 Israelis, including over 1,000 civilians, were murdered and over 4,800 wounded, in addition to approximately 244 who were abducted into the Gaza Strip (including 110 later released or liberated and at least 26 later killed), in a Hamas terror war that began when approximately 3,000 Hamas terrorists broke through Israel's security fence at the Gaza Strip border and launched a surprise attack, taking control of several Israeli towns and attacking a music festival on the Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah, which fell on the Sabbath, Oct. 7, 2023. During the massacre, the terrorists tortured, raped, shot, beheaded, and burned their victims alive, murdering entire families and leaving at least 21 children without parents. Hamas terrorists also fired at least 5,000 rockets at Israeli population centers. In response, Israel launched the Swords of Iron War to counter the Hamas terror threat. Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon joined Hamas' terror war starting from the following day, attacking Israel from the north. Occasional rocket launches and shootings continued from Lebanon throughout the war. A ceasefire and prisoner exchange deal began on Nov. 24, 2023, in which Israel agreed to release 150 terrorist prisoners, pause drone surveillance in the Gaza Strip, and allow movement between the northern and southern Gaza Strip, in return for 50 Israeli female and child hostages held by Hamas. The deal was subsequently extended with additional releases, until Hamas violated the agreement and resumed attacking on Dec. 1, 2023.

The second Intifada – PA terror campaign (2000-2005) in which more than 1,100 Israelis were murdered.

The Al-Aqsa Intifada – Palestinian terror campaign 2000-2005 directed and controlled by the PA and during which the Palestinians carried out numerous terror attacks including suicide bombings. More than 1,100 Israelis were murdered.

Omar Hilmi Al-Ghoul is a regular columnist for the official PA daily and is a former advisor to former PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad on national affairs. He is also a former PLO Central Council member.

Mahmoud Al-Habbash also serves as Chairman of the Supreme Council for Shari'ah Justice. In August 2019, PA Chairman Abbas dismissed all his advisors by Presidential decree. It is unclear what their status is today.

Abbas Zaki also holds the position as Fatah Commissioner for Arab and China Relations

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