On Tuesday, Majed Faraj, Palestinian intelligence chief, voiced his criticism over Hamas’ involvement in the crisis in the region, saying that their participation is unwarranted. It is believed that Faraj’s complaint was a thinly-veiled hint to the recent diplomatic crisis with Qatar.
At a charity event held in Nablus, in the West Bank, Faraj stated, regarding the Hamas responses and statements to the Qatar crisis, “Palestinian Authorities have sided with Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt and refuses any ‘Persian’ projects (in a remark made on Iran’s expansionist ambitions) for the region. It is awfully embarrassing what we heard of slogans being cheered over in Gaza against Arab countries. We must cheer on for life… and for the Arab countries taking in our children abroad, we do not need for any Arab state to take a negative stance against our people or government.”
The Hamas movement is strong in Gaza — controlling the situation. But it is involving Palestinians in troublesome positions, where the consequences it leads to may be unpleasant, due to its involvement in Qatar. “Our decision is independent and does not belong to foreign agendas. We refuse to interfere unilaterally or with bias into any Arab spat at hand. Intervention would cost us heavily for our cause and people who live all over the world,” Faraj said.
Faraj called out Hamas’s decisions as “unsound”, and he said that the movement should resort to the umbrella of Palestinian legitimacy, and thereby end the conflicts that divide the people of Palestine.
Meanwhile, Egypt has announced that it is prepared to provide more electricity to Gaza. However, it comes with a price. Egypt will only do so if Hamas cooperates with them in their counterterrorism crackdown. It’s also been reported that Egypt has demanded that Hamas give them back 17 men who are wanted for terrorism charge in Cairo, has also asked for more protection by Hamas at the border, as well as the cessation of alleged weapons smuggling into the Sinai Peninsula, and lastly, information on the movement of “elements” into Gaza via underground tunnels.
Gaza’s monthly electricity bill from Israel is paid by the Palestinian Authority by subtracting it from the taxes Israel collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authorities. The electricity cuts were approved by Israeli authorities on Monday, per the request of the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the occupied West Bank.