Hamas dissatisfied with Israel-Turkey deal

June 27, 2016  

Gazans on Monday voiced their disappointment with the reconciliation deal between Turkey and Israel, due to the fact that does not stipulate that Israel should stop the naval blockade on Gaza.

A Hamas official who spoke to the Chinese Xinhua news agency on condition of anonymity said that Hamas leaders are unhappy with the details of the agreement, because it maintains the naval blockade on the coastal enclave.

“I think it is still very early to make a judgment on the agreement. Our ties with Turkey are strategic and won’t be influenced by this agreement,” said the official, adding that his movement considers the deal “an internal Turkish affair and [the] Hamas movement won’t intervene in it.”

Reports on Friday said that Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul ahead of the announcement on the reconciliation deal.

Those reports indicated that the two discussed ways to resolve the disagreements among Palestinians as well as Turkish humanitarian assistance.

Mustafa Sawaf, a Gaza-based political analyst close to Hamas, told Xinhua that even though Hamas is not satisfied with the deal because it won’t completely end the Israeli blockade, it considers the Israeli relaxation of the blockade as a positive sign that may lead to lifting it completely in the future.

Meanwhile Osama Hamdan, a senior Hamas leader, wrote on his Facebook page that his movement didn’t agree or accept the agreement, adding that it considers the deal a Turkish affair and Hamas is not related to it.

Riyadh al-Malki, the Palestinian Authority minister of foreign affairs, was quoted by Xinhua as having told Voice of Palestine Radio earlier on Monday that any Turkish arrangements in the Palestinian territories “have to be coordinated with the Palestinian (National) Authority (PNA) government.”

“We consider the Israeli-Turkish agreement an issue that is related to decisions made by countries that look for resuming their bilateral ties,” al-Malki said, adding, “We welcome any effort that helps improving the living situation in Gaza, but the PNA doesn’t intervene in such issues.”

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