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Monday, January 8, 2007

Official PA newspaper scores Hamas stance on Higher Follow Up Committee and Executive Force

Official PLO newspaper scores Hamas stance on Higher Follow Up Committee
and Executive Force

A January 7 article in Al-Hayat Al-Jadida- "What is the importance of the Stand of the Higher Follow-up Committee ?"  by columnist Omar Hilmi Al-Ghoul,  criticizes the Hamas stand regarding the Higher Follow-up comittee and its position on the Hamas Executive Force. The committee is the governing body of the National and Islamic front, an inclusive coalition of terrorist forces ranging from Islamists to Marxists, welded together by Marwan Barghouti during the Second Intifada. Essentially the National and Islamic front provided Fatah and Barghouti with a means of controlling the Palestinian political scene as a whole, in the name of "national unity" against the "Zionist enemy." The Committee, siding with Mahmoud Abbas, blamed recent fighting on the Hamas "Executive force" and called for disbanding it.

Al Hayat Al-Jadida is the PLO/Fatah controlled official daily of the Palestinian national authority. The dispute and the wording of the artilce indicate that Hamas has been trying to wrest control of the National and Islamic Front from the Fatah for some time.

 Al-Ghoul noted increasing opposition to this committee, once a symbol of Palestinian unity.  "This [the opposition]  deepened in the last couple of years and especially last year, when Hamas turned its back on the committee and boycotted its sessions repeatedy... Nonetheless, the head of the Committee, brother Ibrahim Abu Al-Naja and some national and democratic forces, did not give up and continued to cling to the framework of the Follow-up Committee as a national reference to coordinate between the national and Islamic political forces, follow-up on the domestic events and developments and partake in the continuous effiective efforts aiming to stop the internal killings between the Palestinian factions and their partisans…

Hi continued,  "The Higher Follow-up Committee of the national and Islamic forces adopted a new position two days ago regarding the outbreak of the fighting between the partisans of Hamas and Fatah in the north of Gaza, in the Jabalia camp and the city of Khan Younes and the massacre which claimed the lives of seven martyrs including General Muhammad Gharib,  head of the preventive security body…

"This remarkable and courageous position first identified the party that triggered the fighting, that is, the Executive Force affiliated to the Interior Ministry, and then demanded that it be disbanded and taken off the streets -- a turning point in the operations of the Higher Follow-up Committee, because it has abandoned the logic of covering up and beating around the bush and placed its finger on the problem. It was not afraid of Hamas's rejection or of the Islamic Jihad's opposition in this regard, because it is the duty of every citizen to… call things by their name, as the street is in need of clarity and boldness.

"The rejection by Hamas and the prime minister of the demands of the Higher Follow-up Committee reflects their persistence  in undermining the truth, in trying to impose kickback logic on the national forces of the Follow-up Committee; and in linking their level of cooperation with the Follow-up Committee to the extent to which the latter adopts positions that favor or are in line with those of Hamas. Hamas' assumption that holding the Executive Force responsible does not serve national unity is wrong. Their position allows everyone to do whatever they want without anything stopping them, because the political forces are afraid of them.

"Thus, if Hamas is concerned for its own factional interests as well as those of the nation and the citizens, it has to abide by the decision of the Higher Follow-up Committee. That position has become a presidential decree after President Mahmud Abbas issued a decision yesterday which stipulated the illegitimacy of the Executive Force and demanded that it be disbanded… By abiding by the decision of the Higher Follow-up Committee, Hamas would register a key precedent in national action, one with which it could confront Fatah and other forces later on. Will Hamas and the government realize the importance of this decision and work on implementing it?" -
Arabic source:

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