Senior Hamas official Salah Al-Bardawil has condemned the threat made by Fatah's Azzam Al-Ahmed that the Palestinian Authority could make "painful" decisions regarding Palestinian reconciliation. Dr Al-Bardawil said that the Fatah official's latest criticism of the Islamic movement implies that the organisation will seek Israel's help against Hamas as an alternative to reconciliation.
Speaking to Quds Press on Thursday, Al-Bardawil said that he holds Fatah responsible for the failure of reconciliation efforts, adding that the secular organisation has chosen the Israeli occupation and negotiations instead of reconciling with Hamas for the national good.
The Hamas leader predicted that Fatah might formalise the split by declaring the West Bank and Jerusalem to be separate from the Gaza Strip in order to cover up the "futility" of the negotiations that the PA is engaged in. "There is also a possibility that Fatah will hold elections unilaterally," he added.
In response to Al-Ahmed's claim that Fatah is waiting to see what develops in Egypt, Al-Bardawil accused the group of waiting to see the fate of the Muslim Brotherhood to assess whether or not it can impose more isolation on Hamas and exclude it politically.
Al-Ahmed told a local radio station earlier this week that his organisation will not "remain hostage to Hamas" over reconciliation efforts.