Palestinian journalists close to former Fatah official Mohammed Dahlan have acknowledged that they were involved in a campaign to discredit Hamas, Quds Press reported on Monday. Hassan Asfour, a journalist from Gaza who runs a news website from the UAE, confirmed reports that there was such a campaign targeting the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement.
Asfour’s website, Amad, published fake news about Israeli infiltration of the Hamas military wing. He said that the campaign arose after “increasing” Turkish and Qatari involvement in Gaza with the alleged aim of creating an independent entity led by Hamas.
The fake report by Amad was covered widely by Saudi Arabia’s Al-Arabiya and Al-Hadath TV stations and other Saudi and UAE media. Asfour was unrepentant, and told Lebanon’s Al-Akhbar newspaper, “There is no smoke without fire.”
The Palestinian Interior Ministry in Gaza along with Hamas and other Palestinian factions denied the outrageous claims made by Asfour. They said that they were shocked with the wide coverage given to the fake news and the propaganda campaign against Hamas.
Sources among those loyal to Dahlan, who were not named by Al-Akhbar, said that the reason for the campaign was that Hamas had rejected the inclusion of Dahlan and his supporters in the alliance of Palestinian factions in Gaza and the activities surrounding the Great March of Return protests.