Chief Palestinian negotiator and leading member of Fatah movement Saeb Erekat said Saturday that Hamas “is not an was never a terrorist organisation.”
In statements to a delegation of Arab journalists in Ramallah on Saturday, Erekat said that Hamas is “a patriotic movement” and that “it was never involved in terrorist acts, and will never be.”
He pointed out that the prison breaks which took place in Egypt during the 2011 revolution, as well as violence in Sinai, were carried out by individuals, not affiliated to the movement.
Erekat added that he met with the Egyptian post-coup president Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi when he was serving as defense minister, and told him that “a number of individuals from different nationalities are messing with Sinai.”
Furthermore, Erekat complained of Netanyahu government’s insistence to turn the Palestinian Authority to “an authority without authority”, and that it succeeded in doing so.
“We have been living for 5 years without any powers. Netanyahu has succeeded in stripping us of our legal and political mandates, and he wants to turn us into a mere security power,” he told reporters.
He added that Netanyahu wants Gaza to remain separated from the West Bank in order to force Palestinians to live under two leaderships.
Erekat said that the PA is currently working on a letter to be sent to 114 countries of the UN General Assembly wherein it will expose all Israeli violations. He explained that Israel is carrying out collective punishments against Palestinians in an unprecedented manner. “In 3 days, they killed 3 children with cold blood,” he said.
“We told the Israelis, if you want to continue negotiations, we have to start with a map based on 67 borders to draw the borders of two states. This would take us three months, in which Israel should stop its aggression, stop arresting our citizens, and release the fourth round of prisoners,” he added.