Menu JTA Search

Abbas to Hamas: Never again

Mahmoud Abbas said he would not reunite in a government with Hamas under any circumstances.

The terrorist group ousted forces loyal to the Palestinian Authority president from the Gaza Strip in internecine fighting this summer, and Abbas re-established the P.A. government in the West Bank. The fighting ended a tentative national unity government between Hamas and Abbas’ Fatah, but also opened up the Palestinian Authority to assistance from Israel and the West, where Hamas is banned because of its terrorism.

In an interview published Sunday in The Washington Post and Newsweek, Abbas said he has no plans to govern with Hamas.

“I don’t want to return to the national unity government because it was a very bad experience, and they destroyed it,” he said. Abbas added that he would not work with Hamas “under any circumstances.”

He also said he backed the U.S.-led isolation of Hamas.

“In the beginning, I believed that they were mistaken, but now we are in the same position,” Abbas said. “I am against Hamas.”

Abbas said he and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert should have worked out the framework of a final-status agreement in time for the Palestinian-Israeli peace meeting to be convened in November under U.S. auspices.

Abbas also faulted the 1947 Palestinian leadership for not accepting the U.N. partition plan and launching a war against Israel. He noted that the Israeli leadership of the time was happy with the partition plan, although it was much less than Israel would win in its 1948 War of Independence.

“We rejected this, so we lost,” he said.

NEXT STORY