In yet another sign of mounting tensions between the two rival parties, the Palestinian-ruling Fatah faction on Monday accused Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh of “promoting” US President Donald Trump’s yet-to-be-announced plan for peace in the Middle East, also known as the “Deal of the Century.”
The latest allegation came after Hamas announced that its security forces arrested a number of Palestinian Authority intelligence officers on suspicion of helping Israel kill Palestinian Islamic Jihad military commander Baha Abu al-At in the Gaza Strip in November.
The Hamas-Fatah tensions are likely to hamper efforts to hold long overdue Palestinian presidential and parliamentary elections. The two parties on Monday accused each other of working to sabotage the proposed elections.
Hamas has agreed to participate in the vote. The PA, however, says it won’t hold elections unless Israel allows east Jerusalem residents to vote in the city.
A statement issued by Fatah’s “Information and Culture Commission” claimed Haniyeh’s current tour of several countries was aimed at “promoting the Deal of the Century” and that Hamas and Israel were colluding to preserve and strengthen the Palestinian political split between the West Bank and Gaza Strip.