Hamas preparing for ‘post-Abbas era’: Hamdan

Monitoring Desk

RAMALLAH: A leading Hamas member said Wednesday that the Gaza-based resistance group was bracing for what he described as Palestine’s “post-Abbas era”.

Speaking to the Hamas-run Al-Aqsa radio station, Osama Hamdan, the Hamas official responsible for international relations, also said that Mohamed Dahlan — a controversial Palestinian politician — “was not and will never be” Hamas’ choice to succeed Mahmoud Abbas as Palestinian president.

Sponsored by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, Dahlan, who was expelled from Abbas’ Fatah movement in 2014, is considered Abbas’ main political rival.

Hamdan also said that a recent Hamas delegation to Egypt, led by group leader Ismail Haniyeh, had discussed three primary issues with Egyptian officials.

According to Hamdan, these issues included Hamas-Fatah reconciliation; secret US proposals for a final Isr-ael-Palestine settlement (dub-bed the “Deal of the century”); and the possibility of fresh Israeli aggression aga-inst the Hamas-run Gaza Str-ip. Hamdan went on to assert that Abbas’ Fatah movement, which leads the Ramallah-based Palestinian government, “does not suffer what we suffer in Gaza” — a reference to a decade-long Israeli/Egyptian blockade that has effectively destroyed Gaza’s economy.

“Fatah does suffer, however,” he said, “from the ongoing failure of the [Israel-Palestine] peace process, which I believe will soon end Abbas’ political life.”

Fatah and Hamas have engaged in a faltering reconciliation process since the latter wrested the Gaza Strip from pro-Fatah forces in 2007. AA