A member of the Political Bureau of Hamas has revealed that the German mediators in the negotiations for a prisoner exchange deal are alarmed by the behaviour of the Israeli side in the discussions. Mahmoud Al-Zahar said that the exchange deal negotiations “have become absurd, because the Israeli government has cancelled everything agreed upon previously”. Expressing his own frustration, he said, “It takes you years to find a person or an intermediary for negotiations, and then the other party cancels all what has been agreed upon and tries to impose conditions on you.”
Al-Zahar added that leaks from the Israeli side that he had resigned from the negotiation committee of the exchange deal are “lies”. He holds the occupation authority responsible for the failure of the deal.
On the subject of Palestinian reconciliation, Al-Zahar said, “The very first phase of the reconciliation started in Egypt and must be completed there.” He does, however, welcome all the Arab efforts to end the Palestinian division.
Nevertheless, he condemned the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah and Fatah’s obstruction of the proposed Legislative Council session. The PA prevented the Council’s President, Aziz Dweik, and Council members from entering its headquarter in Ramallah.
A member of the Legislative Council representing Hamas said: “Fatah is not interested in the Palestinian people’s wish to challenge the occupation. Because the PA has blocked the legislative session, the Palestinian people have missed their chance to say no to the Judaisation of Jerusalem and the desecration of holy sites.” The anonymous official added, “Fatah’s reputation is diminishing in the eyes of the people because it often favours its own interests over the national interests.”