The Palestinian resistance movement Hamas has strongly criticized the president of the national unity government, Mahmoud Abbas, over his support for “security coordination” with Israel.
Hamas called the president’s support for the manhunt for three teenagers allegedly kidnapped in the occupied West Bank last week as unjustified and harmful to the Palestinian reconciliation.
“President Abbas’ statements regarding security coordination are harmful to the Palestinian interests, are contrary to Palestinian national consensus and the national unity agreement reached in Cairo,” it said in a statement on Wednesday.
Hamas also said the move has dealt a “psychological blow” to thousands of Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails.
“These statements are extremely harmful to the prisoners who are on hunger strike in the occupation’s prisons and only reinforce the Israeli narrative rather than the real facts. We also stress our people’s right to defend ourselves and our prisoners by any means necessary,” the statement added.
The reaction came after Abbas said that “the coordination with Israel is a Palestinian interest.”
Tel Aviv has accused Hamas of kidnapping the three Israeli settlers.
However, Hamas rejects the claim, saying Tel Aviv seeks to sabotage the recent reconciliation accord reached between the movement and Fatah, which led to the formation of the Palestinian national unity government earlier this month.
Israeli forces are now conducting a door-to-door search for the missing settlers in the West Bank.
Israel has arrested around 240 Palestinians, including Hamas members and MPs, since June 12, when the Israeli settlers allegedly went missing in al-Khalil (Hebron).
In a statement issued on Monday, Hamas strongly condemned Israel’s recent arrests in the occupied Palestinian territories, saying the “cowardly” move is a “flagrant violation of all international conventions.”
Hamas leaders, Hassan Yousef, Wasfi Qabaha, Khaled Abu Arafeh and Mohammed Totah have been among those recently abducted by Israel.