Mideast: Hamas chief hints at new political organisation

The Palestine Liberation Organization, created in 1964, include members from the ruling Fatah party, as well as members from other political factions. Its chairman is the current president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas.

Damascus, 29 Jan. (AKI) - The exiled leader of the Islamist Hamas movement, Khaled Meshal hinted at the formation of a new political organisation and said the Palestine Liberation Organization in its current form no longer represents Palestinians.

"We must build a national reference to represent the Palestinians at home and abroad, including all national forces, the Palestinian people and the national trends," said Meshal.

"By now, all Palestinian factions agree, and we will surprise you. We will include all the factions and national Palestinian movements."

Meshal also said that the PLO serves to divide Palestinians rather than reconcile.

"This because in this moment, the PLO no longer represents us and is no longer a unitary point of reference. On the contrary, it represents existing divisions between us," said Meshal.

He made the remarks during a meeting in the Qatari capital Doha late on Wednesday, called "Celebrating the Gaza victory."

Meshal also repeated his request to other Arab countries to follow the example of Qatar, which has decided to send financial aid directly to the government of deposed prime minister Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza, bypassing the Palestinian Authority altogether.

Meshal's view was echoed by a Hamas political bureau member present at the meeting.

"The emir of Qatar (Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani) has promised us that he would give the money directly to the people of Gaza. We do not trust the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah, and we do not believe that it is trustworthy," said Mohammed Nazzal.

Last week, Meshal, asked donor countries to donate funds to the Hamas government led by deposed prime minister Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza, and not the government led by caretaker prime minister Salaam Fayyad in the West Bank.

Earlier this week, the emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Jaber al-Sabah, said no donations destined for the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip would go to the Palestinian Authority led by Abbas.

Nazzal concluded by accusing some Palestinian and Arab parties of complicity in Israel's three week long offensive in Gaza, that resulted in the death of 1,330 Palestinians and injured 5,000 others.

"I can confirm that there are Palestinian parties who knew of an impending strike, and there was involvement of Arab parties before the outbreak."

Meanwhile, Ismail Haniyeh echoed the so-called 'victory' over Israel during the Gaza war, saying the Jewish state did not meet its goals.

"When we speak of a Palestinian victory, we are not exaggerating. The Palestinian people have won against the Israeli occupiers in this war.

"The entire world has seen that they (Israel) had clear goals that were not reached, due to the stubborness of the Palestinian people and the resistance, which remained unshaken in the battlefield," said Haniyeh in an interview with Dubai-based Arab TV network Al-Arabiya.


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