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Internal Palestinian issues
Fatah-Hamas relations
Fatah-Hamas rivalry
Hamas is sending civilians to die for media coverage, says Abbas' advisor 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Apr. 6, 2018

Official PA TV, excerpt of sermon by Supreme Shari’ah Judge, Mahmoud Abbas’ advisor on Religious and Islamic Affairs, and Chairman of the Supreme Council for Shari'ah Justice Mahmoud Al-Habbash at the mosque in the PA headquarters in Ramallah; in audience: PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, Fatah Central Committee member and PLO Central Council member Jamal Muhaisen, and Fatah Central Committee member Abbas Zaki


Mahmoud Al-Habbash
: “The Palestinian people... doesn’t care about those [Hamas] with ‘the emotional stories of heroism,’ those with the slogans of heroism - slogans that when you hear them, you think that the people saying them are inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque after they liberated it. And afterwards you discover that they’re only selling illusions, trading in suffering and blood, trading in victims, [saying]: ‘You Palestinians, our people, go and die so that we’ll go to the TV and media with strong declarations.’ These [Hamas] acts of ‘heroism’ don’t fool anyone anymore. The Palestinian people... sides with the PLO.”
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Fatah official: The tunnels in Gaza will be sealed under PA sovereignty  
Source: Donia Al-Watan (independent Palestinian news agency), Nov. 29, 2017
Headline: "A senior figure in the PA: All of the tunnels in Gaza must be sealed"
        “Fatah Movement Advisory Council member Sarhan Dweikat said: 'Under the PA's sovereignty, the legitimacy of the tunnels in the Gaza Strip cannot be approved, as legitimizing the tunnels means limiting the role of the state and its leadership. The state and its leadership are the only rulers on the ground, and applying their rule means rule above and below ground.'…
He explained that when we talk about borders, the meaning is that it is necessary to regularize the crossings and seal all of the tunnels in Gaza, so that the Palestinian [PA] Security Forces are the ones controlling the borders. How is it possible to place a soldier of the national [PA] Security [Forces] on the border when there is a tunnel underneath him? In this case, there will be no sovereignty or control…
Regarding the resistance's weapons, Dweikat said: 'They must be regularized and subject to the PA decisions, as there is no excuse for the existence of militias acting secretly or openly. The decision regarding peace or war is a political decision, to which no one has an exclusive right, and it must be a general Palestinian decision.’"
Hamas official on PA-Hamas unity talks: Hamas “will never hand over its weapons”  
Source: Wattan (independent Palestinian news agency)‎, Nov. 14, 2017
Headline: "What did Al-Zahar say in response to demands to disarm the resistance?"
        "Hamas leadership member Mahmoud Al-Zahar emphasized today, Monday [Nov. 13, 2017], that the [PA] government and the PA are placing conditions in order to make the [Hamas-Fatah] reconciliation fail so as not to bear their responsibility and to avoid the Egyptian initiative. He also emphasized that it is necessary to 'determine the mechanisms for implementing what the factions agreed upon in 2011' including the emphasis that the security doctrine considers Israel an enemy.'
Al-Zahar explained in a TV interview that no one can come near the resistance's weapons or disarm it. He responded to the statements of [PA] Police Director in the West Bank Hazem Atallah, who promised to disarm the [Izz A-Din] Al-Qassam [Brigades] (i.e., Hamas' military wing): ' Hazem Atallah cannot disarm the resistance, and the resistance will never hand over its weapons. The resistance is the guarantee of Gaza's security.'"
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PLO official on Fatah-Hamas unity talks: Hamas will not be allowed to keep their weapons 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Oct. 22, 2017
Official PA TV program State of Politics, on the Hamas-Fatah reconciliation process

Secretary-General of the terror organization Palestinian Popular Struggle Front and PLO Executive Committee member Ahmed Majdalani: "The matter of the weapons is not an end unto itself. We are all in the PLO, we are all armed factions, all of us. [We had weapons] 25 years before Hamas, or more than that. When Hamas, or the Muslim Brotherhood movement, discovered the [armed] struggle, they joined it. Therefore, the subject of [armed] resistance is not a monopoly of one faction or another. And no faction has the sole right or ownership over it.
The resistance is the resistance of the Palestinian people, in all forms of resistance, and not just the armed struggle. The resistance has tangible forms, according to the actual circumstances. The actual circumstances – which we agreed upon with the Hamas Movement in the national unity document in 2006 – are popular resistance. And therefore we are not opening a discussion about the weapons of Hamas or another [organization] now, as we wish for the success of the [Hamas-Fatah] reconciliation [and] the success of the national effort for our people... We are talking about one state, one regime and law, and one [authority over the] weapons. That is the end of the process…"

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Hamas MPs to be given their salaries that were being held by the PA 
Source: Wattan (independent Palestinian news agency)‎, Aug. 15, 2017
Headline: “After the end of the crisis of the prisoners and released [prisoners’] salaries, the issue of the Hamas parliament members is on the way to being resolved”
    “Several issues and topics were raised in [PA] Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah’s meeting with a delegation of the Hamas Movement in the West Bank, which was held in his office yesterday [Aug. 14, 2017]. Hamas [PA] Parliament Member Abd Al-Jaber Fuqaha… noted that they spoke about the salaries of the parliament members that were stopped, and the delegation received promises to return the salaries, but without a specific time being determined for this. The [PA] Parliament members also obtained promises several days ago from Head of [PA General] Intelligence Majed Faraj to return the parliament members’ salaries, during the delegation’s meeting with [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas.”


Fatah official on Fatah-Hamas reconciliation: “We respect the weapons of resistance and revere the resistance,” but Hamas must put away its weapons  
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Aug. 9, 2017
Fatah Central Committee Secretary Jibril Rajoub: “As I have said, [Hamas’] manifestations of control need to end. Tthere is no executive committee (i.e., the Hamas government in Gaza) and no shadow government. This also means that the phenomena of weapons, armed people, and militias need to end.”
Official PA TV Host: “But there are weapons of resistance in Gaza.”
Jibril Rajoub: “… We respect the weapons of resistance and revere the resistance and the weapons of resistance, but that doesn’t justify there being [Hamas] militias that behave like a governmental authority. Sir, let them hide the weapons of resistance, we do not want to collect their weapons; and by the way, we told them that [at the Fatah-Hamas reconciliation talks] in Cairo. Sir, we also don’t want to force sponsorship on the weapons of the resistance. Put them in storage rooms, and afterwards, sir, if there is a call for help at a time of war – or if Heaven forbid [there is a war in Gaza], I say that Gaza will not withstand this, it has been enough for Gaza, my brother. [Gaza] has sacrificed, done, and gone through enough. Dear sir, [the weapons of the resistance] will not be a problem unless [Hamas] actively behaves like an illegal militia.”

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PA government cuts salaries of 37 Hamas parliamentarians  
Source: Amad, independent Palestinian news website, July 9, 2017
Headline: "A Hamas member of parliament confirmed that the salaries of 37 PA parliament members were stopped"
       "Member of [PA] Parliament (Legislative Council) Naif Al-Rajoub from the Hamas Movement in the West Bank revealed that the [PA] government has published an official decision to stop the salaries of 37 members of parliament. Al-Rajoub said in a statement to the Hamas website Al-Risalah Net today, Sunday [July 9, 2017], that the [PA] Ministry of Finance in Ramallah 'officially notified us that we will not receive salaries this month, based on a government decision.' Al-Rajoub explained that the decision includes 37 members of parliament in the occupied West Bank, and noted that they have tried to clarify why their salaries were stopped, but did not receive any answer. The member of parliament said that this decision is part of the policy of punishment that [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas and the [PA] government are implementing against the members of parliament from Hamas in the West Bank, and emphasized that this is a violation of the law that must have action taken against it."
PA sends 6,145 civil servants in Gaza to early retirement, as part of its feud with Hamas 
Source: Donia Al-Watan (independent Palestinian news agency), July 4, 2017
Headline: "The [PA] government decides to make 6,145 employees take an early pension in the southern districts"
      "The [PA] national unity government, in its weekly meeting today (Tuesday) [July 4, 2017], decided to make 6,145 employees in the southern districts (the Gaza Strip) [parentheses in source] take an early pension.  Official [PA] Government Spokesperson Yusuf Al-Mahmoud explained that the government emphasized that this step, the steps that preceded it, and every other step likely to be taken in this framework are temporary steps, [whose cancellation] depends on Hamas abandoning the rift [with Fatah]… The government emphasized that the Hamas Movement collects hundreds of millions of [Israeli] shekels a month and does not return them to the public coffers, while the [PA] government is allocating more than 450 million shekels a month for the southern districts."

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Fatah official: Hamas is a political rival, but not a terror organization 
Source: Wattan (independent Palestinian news agency)‎, July 2, 2017
    "Fatah Movement Central Committee member, [Fatah] Commissioner of Mobilization and Organization [in the West Bank, and PLO Central Council member] Dr. Jamal Muhaisen said... that Hamas is indeed a political rival, but it is part of the fabric of the Palestinian people, and we will not agree to any Palestinian organization being placed on the terror list. He also demanded that the Arab regimes place the Israeli occupation and the settlers on the terror list."
Fatah on Israel’s removal of terrorist monument, Hamas’ change of school name: Hamas and Israel work for same goal, erasing Palestinian memory 
Source: Official Fatah Facebook page, June 30, 2017
Image and text posted on the official Fatah Facebook page


Posted text: “#Share_and_spread
This is how Hamas is completing the occupation’s role in Gaza, by fighting the names of the leaders and Martyrs (Shahids)
Hamas changed the name of Khalil Al-Wazir [Abu Jihad] High School in Gaza (i.e., terrorist, responsible for murder of 125) to Hassan Al-Harazin School (apparently a private donor to the school –Ed.), as part of its chain of ongoing attacks on the schools bearing the names of the fighters and Martyrs of the Palestinian revolution (i.e., from Fatah).
Memory is the main enemy of Israel and Hamas.”
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PA blocks 11 websites of political opponents 
Source: Ma’an, independent Palestinian news agency, June 15, 2017
       “A senior source in the PA revealed to a journalist [of the independent Palestinian news agency] Ma’an in Ramallah the reason for the blocking of 11 websites, which [PA] Attorney General [Ahmed Barrak] is checking lawsuits that have been submitted against them.
The source vehemently denied that the reason for blocking these websites is their association with [exiled Fatah leader Muhammad] Dahlan’s movement, or that they are close to the Hamas movement. He said that the real reason is the many lawsuits that were submitted against them to the attorney general, and the request to sue them on charges of cursing, fabrication, and harming the freedoms of individuals and organizations, as he put it."

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Abbas rescinds decision to cut salaries of Hamas MPs 
Source: Amad, independent Palestinian news website, June 7, 2017
Headline: "A source to Amad: The Qatari ambassador renewed the salaries of the Hamas Members of Parliament after their payment was stopped on Abbas' order"
      "Palestinian media outlets have published that Ramallah Authority (i.e., PA) Chairman Muhammad Abbas ordered to stop payment of the salaries of the [PA] Members of Parliament that disagree with his position, without differentiating between the Hamas faction and the Fatah faction. The order included 47 Hamas Members of Parliament and seven Fatah Members of Parliament... But a source verified to [the independent Palestinian news website] Amad that Abbas rescinded his decision as a result of a phone call from Qatari Ambassador in Gaza Muhammad Al-Emadi, who told him that this decision would be considered a step against Qatar, especially since it was made after several states announced the breaking off of ties with it, which is liable to be considered a position that identifies with the decision of the states that announced the breaking off of diplomatic ties."

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PA cuts salaries to released Hamas terrorists at U.S. request 
Source: Al-Hayat (London), June 5, 2017
Headline: “The PA has stopped the salaries of released prisoners from Hamas in Gaza”
     “The PA has stopped the payment of the salaries (rawatib) of a number of released prisoners who hold positions of leadership in the Hamas movement, including Director of the movement’s Political Bureau in the Gaza Strip Yahya Al-Sinwar.
Released prisoners in Gaza said that they were surprised yesterday [June 4, 2017] when they went to the banks to receive their salaries [and discovered] that they were not transferred by the [PA] Ministry of Finance in Ramallah. Hamas sources in Gaza noted that 277 released prisoners did not receive their salaries at the beginning of the month as is customary. The Ministry of Finance in Ramallah did not deny or confirm the news item, but sources in the [PA] government estimated that the stopping of these released prisoners’ salaries is part of a series of steps that the PA has decided to take in Gaza in order to press Hamas to hand over the rule of the Gaza Strip to the [PA] government. Knowledgeable sources also told the [independent Palestinian news] agency Sama that the stopping of the salaries was done in response to an American and Israeli request, and that this is only the first group, which additional groups will join later on.”

Fatah official: Fatah will work to ensure that Gazans continue to be paid not to work for Hamas, PA at war to preserve salary payments to terrorists 
Source: Donia Al-Watan (independent Palestinian news agency), May 28, 2017
Headline: “Nazzal: The employees’ salaries are secure, the PA is standing before an economic war and we want to save Gaza and not turn it into Singapore”

“Fatah Movement Spokesman and [Fatah] Revolutionary Council member Dr. Jamal Nazzal emphasized the efforts of his movement to ensure the PA employees’ salaries [in Gaza], and that Fatah expects that the issues will return to order regarding the partial salaries. He also added that talk of a future meeting on the salaries is not expected, and that the deductions that took place have no connection to the PA’s steps towards the Hamas Movement…
He revealed that the PA is standing before an unprecedented war, after the American Congress voted two days ago to reduce the annual American [financial] aid to the PA with 30% (sic., the bill apparently referred to was introduced, not voted on, on May 25, 2017, not May 26, and does not seem to have specified 30%, see note below –Ed.). This is in conjunction with Israeli pressures that are being exerted on international bodies to impose a siege on the PLO on charges of terror, because it is responsible for the payment of the allowances (mukhassasat) of the relatives of the Martyrs (Shahids), prisoners, and wounded.”

The article apparently refers to a bill introduced in Congress on May 25, 2017 that calls: “To impose sanctions with respect to foreign support for Palestinian terrorism, and for other purposes.”
Hamas won student elections at Birzeit University 
Source: Al-Ayyam, May 11, 2017
Headline: “The Islamic group won in the student council elections of Birzeit”

“The Islamic Trust group (i.e., Hamas student group) yesterday evening [May 10, 2017] won the Birzeit University student council elections.
The Trust group received 3,778 votes, which granted it 25 seats, while the Martyr Yasser Arafat group received 3,340 votes, which granted it 22 seats.”
Fatah accuses Hamas of collecting money from citizens for electricity and medications that the PA supplies for free 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Apr. 21, 2017
Headline: "Al-Aloul: We will not give up on our residents in the Gaza Strip and Hamas is taking advantage of what the [PA] unity government is giving it"
     "Fatah Movement Central Committee member and Deputy Chairman Mahmoud Al-Aloul emphasized the support of the Palestinian leadership and people for the battle being waged by the prisoners inside the prisons until they achieve their just demands. Al-Aloul said in a TV interview: …'Hamas is collecting money from the citizens for electricity, even though we in the [PA] unity government are paying for the electricity. It is also collecting taxes and customs duties, and taking the medicines that the [PA] Ministry of Finances sends it for free and [Hamas is] selling them in the markets.’"
PA Prime Minister: Only additions to Gaza workers salary was cut, financial crisis due to 70% cut in foreign aid  
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Apr. 8, 2017
Headline: “?$17 billion were transferred over the last 10 years in order to provide for the needs of the Gaza Strip’ – Hamdallah: Some of the wage additions were cut in the salaries of the Gaza employees; Hamas is taking all of the revenue and spending it only on itself”
       “[PA] Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah said: ‘The [PA] government has decided to take austerity measures on the expenses since last year [2016] in the West Bank. The first sector in which they began was the security sector, whose expenses were reduced by 25%. In addition, the budgets of many sectors were reduced due to the 70% drop in foreign aid. We are suffering from a large financial crisis.’ He added: ‘The base salaries of the [public] employees in the Gaza Strip were not harmed, but rather some of the wage additions were cut, while some of them were left intact. This is so that we will be able to manage the financial crisis from which we are suffering.’ Hamdallah continued: ‘We demand that Hamas give the Gaza Strip to the legal leadership (i.e., Fatah), as Hamas is taking all of the revenue and spending it only on itself, while we are fulfilling all of our obligations towards the members of our people in the Gaza Strip...”
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Fatah establishes commission to discuss salary crisis in Gaza, possibility of transferring Gaza back to the PA's leadership 
Source: Wattan (independent Palestinian news agency)‎, Apr. 8, 2017
Headline: “The Fatah Central Committee has established a commission to examine the salary crisis of the [PA] employees and the situation in the Gaza Strip”
     “The Fatah Movement Central Committee has decided to establish a commission in order to discuss the salary crisis of the PA employees in the Gaza Strip, as well as the situation and decisions made recently by Hamas in the Gaza Strip, and the possibility of transferring the Gaza Strip to the hands of the Palestinian [PA] government.
During its meeting this evening [April 8, 2017], the movement’s Central Committee decided to establish a commission that will include [Fatah Central Committee] members Ahmed Helles, Mahmoud Al-Aloul, [Hajj] Ismail Jaber, and Hussein Al-Sheikh in order to discuss the salary crisis of the PA employees in the Gaza Strip, and to submit a final report to [PA] President [Mahmoud] Abbas on April 25 [2017].”
Fatah posts image of masked armed man on Facebook, calls to end Hamas “coup” 
Source: Official Fatah Facebook page, Apr. 8, 2017
Image and text posted on the official Fatah Facebook page

The image shows an old Fatah logo featuring the head of a man masked in a keffiyeh (Arab headdress) and armed with an assault rifle. The word “Fatah” appears over his face on a red background. Underneath, the Palestinian flag and an olive branch are seen.
Text on image: “Fatah – The eternal revolution and Storm (i.e., “Al-Asifa,” Fatah military unit) and the flame of the armed struggle”

Posted text: “The processions that will be held tomorrow [April 7, 2017] in Gaza need to focus on ending the [Hamas] coup (see note below –Ed.), because its end is the prelude to solving all of the Gaza Strip’s problems, and not just the reduction of the [public employees’] salaries”

2007 Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip - Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah won the 2005 Palestinian Authority Presidential election. However, Hamas won the 2006 parliamentary elections in both the Gaza Strip and West Bank, with a majority of 74 out of 132 seats, to Fatah’s 45 seats. Fatah’s rule of the PA Presidency and Hamas’ rule of the PA government led to friction and eventually armed conflict between Hamas and Fatah. Hamas defeated Fatah militarily in the Gaza Strip in 2007, and since then Hamas rules in Gaza while the PA continues to rule the West Bank under Fatah.
PA government spokesman: Due to 70% reduction in foreign aid, there will be temporary reductions to salaries of Gazan employees 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Apr. 5, 2017
Headline: "The [PA] government: The deductions from the Gazan employees’ salaries are a temporary step"
     "The [PA] national unity government explained that the deductions from the [public] employees’ salaries included only the additions and part of the addition for the nature of the work, without any harm to the basic salary.
The reason for this is the suffocating financial siege imposed on the occupied State of Palestine, in addition to the consequences of the [Fatah-Hamas] rift, the [Israeli] blockade [of Gaza], and the occupation's terrible steps.
Official [PA] Government Spokesman Yusuf Al-Mahmoud said: 'This is a temporary step that will not include the social [welfare] allowances and the humanitarian aid.' He emphasized that the pressures being applied to the Palestinian leadership, including the financial pressures that are expressed in the reduction of the external aid (i.e., Western donors) by approximately 70% compared to previous years, have forced the government to take such steps in order to guarantee the continued payment of the salaries. He also emphasized that this step is part of the national policy to deal with the financial difficulties.
The official spokesman added that the government has explained that the continued [Fatah-Hamas] rift and the steps taken by the acting government in the southern districts (i.e., the Hamas government in the Gaza Strip), including rebellion against the constitutional court, operating the executive committee that has begun to act as a parallel government, and the fact that the Hamas movement continues to gather the revenues and control them without returning them to the [PA] Treasury - all of these have negatively affected the financial situation and escalated the financial crisis to the point that we have reached. This is particularly so in light of the fact that all of this is taking place under the Israeli blockade [of Gaza] and occ
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