update deskIsrael-Palestinian Conflict

Palestinian Authority PM: Eliminating Hamas is unacceptable

The terrorist group is an "essential part of the Palestinian political mosaic," P.A. Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh told world leaders in Qatar.

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh speaks during a P.A. leadership meeting, June 24, 2020. Photo by Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90.
Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh speaks during a P.A. leadership meeting, June 24, 2020. Photo by Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90.

Hamas is an “essential part of the Palestinian political mosaic,” Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh told world leaders gathered in Qatar on Sunday, adding that Israel’s goal of eliminating the Islamist terror group is “unacceptable” to Ramallah.

“We want a situation in which Palestinians are united. … I think it is time that Hamas call the Palestinian president [Mahmoud Abbas] and tell him we’re all united behind you, and you are the legitimate authority of the Palestinian people and we are ready to engage,” Shtayyeh stated at the Doha Forum, an annual event sponsored by the state of Qatar.

Shtayyeh also called to impose sanctions on the Jewish state “and not allow it to continue violating international law, international humanitarian law and Security Council resolutions,” according to the P.A.’s official Wafa news agency.

The P.A. official flew to Qatar in a bid to convince the emirate to switch its financial support for Hamas terrorism over to the Palestinian Authority, Shtayyeh told Bloomberg on Friday.

Bloomberg quoted Shtayyeh as saying that Ramallah’s preferred outcome of Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza would be for the terrorist organization to join a P.A.-led governing body as a junior partner.

“Hamas before Oct. 7 is one thing, and after is another. … What is needed really is a situation in which Palestinian unity should be allowed to function on very clear bonds and agenda,” Shtayyeh told the outlet.

When asked by Bloomberg to condemn Hamas’s Oct. 7 slaughter of more than 1,200 people in Israel, Shtayyeh refused, saying the conflict didn’t begin on that date and claiming Israeli officials have failed to speak out against “things done by their citizens to Palestinians.”

According to Shtayyeh, U.S. officials visited Ramallah last week to discuss a plan for the day after the war in Gaza. He said both parties agreed that Israel shouldn’t occupy the coastal enclave, reduce its territory to create a security zone, or resettle its residents.

Washington wants the P.A. to take over the Strip after the war, a move that Israel rejects because of Ramallah’s overt support for terrorism.

“A. There will be no Hamas, we will eliminate it,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted on Friday in a rebuttal of Shtayyeh’s remarks to Bloomberg.

“B. The very fact that this is the Palestinian Authority’s proposal only strengthens my policy: The Palestinian Authority is not the solution,” added the Israeli premier.

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