Hamas welcomes Abbas’ rivals in Gaza Strip

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GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Nasser al-Qudwa, dismissed member of Fatah’s Central Committee and former minister of international affairs, arrived within the Gaza Strip April 14, on his first go to to the enclave in years, as a part of efforts to mobilize Gazan votes for the legislative elections slated for May.

On March 11, Qudwa was dismissed from the Fatah motion after establishing a separate present dubbed the Palestinian Democratic Assembly (PDA) on March 2. He additionally fashioned an electoral listing, named the Freedom List, with imprisoned Fatah chief Marwan al-Barghouti.

Qudwa arrived in Gaza via the Rafah border crossing within the south, after acquiring approval from Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, although Qudwa fiercely attacked the motion and different Islamist Palestinian factions in a televised interview with France 24 on April 1.

In the interview, Qudwa stated, “All existent Fatah parties take issue with political Islam, in general, or political Islamism.” He famous that the Fatah events’ purpose is to reclaim Gaza politically and geographically. His statements unleashed a large wave of public criticism, particularly from Hamas.

In a assertion launched April 2, Hamas stated, “Qudwa’s statements are a national political sin, and they are totally aligned with Zionist and American decisions and stances that aim at tearing our people apart and prolonging the division.”

Sources within the PDA instructed Al-Monitor on situation of anonymity that people near Qudwa made calls with the Hamas management within the Gaza Strip previously few days to acquire approval for his go to to Gaza, and Hamas welcomed this.

The sources stated that there are preparations to carry a gathering between Qudwa and Hamas leaders within the subsequent few days to debate the upcoming legislative elections. They famous that Qudwa’s statements about political Islam had been misunderstood and exaggerated.

They burdened that the PDA considers Hamas and all factions as resistance actions that will need to have a participatory position in political points, govern the state insitutions and work beneath the wing of the Palestinian parliament.

In the framework of its political makes an attempt to weaken Fatah, Hamas labored previously few days on permitting the return of many Fatah leaders who oppose President Mahmoud Abbas to the Gaza Strip, notably these affiliated with dismissed Fatah chief Mohammed Dahlan. Through these strikes, Hamas seeks to rearrange its ranks to take part within the legislative elections and take votes away from Fatah’s official listing.

In a press convention held as quickly as he arrived in Gaza, Qudwa complained in regards to the smear marketing campaign and threats he confronted personally, together with different figures on his electoral listing within the West Bank. He additionally condemned banks which have put restrictions on opening an account within the title of the PDA.

Qudwa confirmed that his listing would help Barghouti if he runs for the presidency within the presidential elections scheduled for July 31.

A Hamas official instructed Al-Monitor on situation of anonymity that Qudwa requested figures near Hamas to carry a gathering with the motion’s management in Gaza, stating that Hamas is open to all Palestinian factions and has no downside with assembly Qudwa or different figures.

The official defined that the present stage that the Palestinian individuals are experiencing forward of the elections necessitates they overcome all disagreements and agree with the electoral lists on widespread grounds to finish the division and create a brand new elected Palestinian management.

The London-based Al-Quds Al-Araby newspaper reported April 15 that Qudwa is in search of a foothold in Gaza, in mild of the restrictions he’s dealing with within the West Bank. The newspaper wrote that he’ll keep for period of time in Gaza.

Talal Okal, a political analyst and author for the Palestinian Al-Ayyam newspaper, instructed Al-Monitor that the Gaza Strip is an efficient and cozy place to work for Qudwa’s present, given the stress he has confronted not too long ago from the Fatah management within the West Bank.

Okal defined that the connection between Qudwa and the Fatah management, represented by Abbas and Fatah’s Central Committee, has reached the purpose of no return. He stated that Qudwa is difficult Abbas politically indirectly by assembly with the Palestinian factions in Gaza.

Iyad al-Qara, political analyst and author for the day by day newspaper Felesteen in Gaza, instructed Al-Monitor that Hamas goals — via its steps to permit Qudwa and officers in Dahlan’s present to return to the Gaza Strip — to point out that the freedoms’ state of affairs within the Gaza Strip is healthier than that within the West Bank.

He defined that Hamas encourages the creation of a powerful Fatah present composed of figures who are expelled from Fatah, in an try and weaken Abbas and discover another management via the elections. For that purpose, Hamas opened the doorways of Gaza to the return of all Fatah leaders who’re at odds with Abbas.

Qudwa’s important problem in acquiring the votes of the Gazans stays that almost all of these on his electoral listing are from the West Bank. Gaza has solely restricted illustration in that listing, which is what Qudwa acknowledged. He justified that by saying they needed to hasten the formation of the listing, and so they made that mistake. In truth, he fashioned his listing with Barghouti inside solely three hours earlier than the deadline to submit electoral lists.