A Gaza-based member of the Hamas Political Bureau said on Wednesday that Israel's presidency of the Negev Forum proves that US-sponsored action in the region is intended to reinforce the occupation state's power and control over the Palestinian issue and Arab resources.
"Israel's position in the forum's steering committee is a clear indication that the US wants to strengthen its hegemony in the Middle East," said Basem Naim. "What is being prepared by the Negev Forum will not serve security and stability in the region. It will only bring harm and destruction to the Palestinian cause and inalienable Palestinian rights."
Naim expressed his amazement that at a time when the occupation state is committing ongoing crimes and violations against the Palestinian people, "including murder, displacement, house destruction and the desecration of holy sites," some Arab states insist on granting legitimacy to the "fascist" entity. "These Arab countries are legitimising Israel's theft of Palestinian land and violation of Palestinian rights, as well as its threat to the national security of Arab states."
The senior Hamas official called for the Arab governments which are members of the Negev Forum to review their position and "disown" the group immediately. "Membership harms the security and stability of the region, and reinforces division, chaos and internal disputes among the Arabs."
On Monday, the Negev Forum Steering Committee convened in Manama, where Bahrain, Egypt, Israel, Morocco, the UAE and the US were represented by senior officials from their respective foreign ministries. They agreed to "coordinate collective efforts and advance a common vision for the region," said the US State Department. Israel was given the presidency of the group for the first year.