Mahmoud Al-Habbash, the religious advisor of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called on Friday for the Saudi-led alliance, which is attacking Houthi militias in Yemen, to attack the Gaza Strip, the official PA news agency Wafa has reported.
“The Arab nation has to attack any illegal side in the Arab region with an iron hand,” he said during his Friday sermon in Ramallah. “It has to start from Palestine.” He insisted that the protection of legitimacy in any Arab country is the duty of all the Arab leaders. “They have to initiate attacks against outlawed people anyhow and regardless of time and place, starting from Palestine.”
He insisted that what happened in Gaza when Hamas took full security control of the territory in 2007, was “a coup” and must be dealt with decisively. “People who carry out coups, must be attacked with an iron hand,” he said.
In response, senior Hamas official Mahmoud Al-Zahar wrote on his Facebook page that everyone who had hoped for the Israelis to defeat Hamas is now calling for the Arabs to do it. “This, he scoffed, “is the worst kind of tyranny.”
Habbash did not mention the fact that Hamas won the Palestinian election in 2006 and was thus the legitimate, democratically-elected government when this “coup” was supposed to have taken place. Nor did he mention the coup led by his friends in Egypt against President Mohamed Morsi in 2013. Morsi was Egypt’s first democratically-elected leader.
A faction within Fatah, the party to which Habbash belongs, was backed by Israel and the US to stage a coup against the Hamas government in 2007. Hamas discovered the plot and took pre-emptive steps against the plotters, most of whom were expelled from the Gaza Strip.