November 14, 2023 Special Dispatch No. 10958

Palestinian Authority Daily Reacts To MEMRI TV Clip Of Hamas Official Abu Marzouk Stating That The Tunnels Protect Hamas, Not Civilians: This Is Absolute Selfishness, Not Resistance

November 14, 2023
Palestinians | Special Dispatch No. 10958

In its November 13, 2023 editorial, the Palestinian Authority daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida harshly criticized Hamas official Mousa Abu Marzouk for his October 27 statements in an interview on the Russian state-controlled international news television network RT – statements that were translated and published by MEMRI.

Abu Marzouk said in the interview that the tunnels under Gaza were built to protect Hamas fighters, not civilians, and added that the safety of the Gaza residents, 75% of whom are refugees, is the responsibility of the United Nations and Israel.

To view Abu Marzouk's RT interview on MEMRI TV, click here or below:

According to the editorial, headlined "What Kind of an Answer is That?"  Abu Marzouk's statements indicate Hamas's selfishness and its lack of any spirit of resistance, national patriotism, or human emotion. The refugees in Gaza, it said, "are Palestinians, and are not among the Arabs who are no longer with us; they are continuing with their national struggle for the return" and concern for them is "the No. 1 national and moral responsibility and mission."

The following are translated excerpts from the editorial:

"Some two weeks ago, the channel known as 'MEMRI' [posted] an interview with Hamas political bureau deputy head Mousa Abu Marzouk. This 'MEMRI' is a channel that belongs to an institute for the research of Middle East media, a Zionist institute that monitors media and claims to be a nonprofit. It is headquartered in Washington, and has branches in several Western, regional, and even Arab capitals!!

"In this interview, [which was conducted] following a horrifying increase in the number of dead and wounded in Gaza due to the barbaric war that Israel continues to wage... against the wounded [Gaza] Strip, the interviewer asked his guest, Abu Marzouk: Why are there no bomb shelters and tunnels in Gaza to protect the residents from the Israeli attacks?

"Just as clear as the amazement in this question was the clarity of Abu Marzouk's reply, with its clear factional bias and his obvious lack of patriotism: 'We excavated the tunnels to protect our fighters' (!!)... It is known that he also said: '75% of the Gaza Strip residents are refugees, and it is the responsibility of UNRWA to protect them, and also of Israel, because it is an occupying power'!

"What can we say after this strange and amazing declaration, which reveals that the speaker has even abandoned his moral responsibility – not to mention his national responsibility – for the residents of the wounded [Gaza] Strip, only because they are mostly refugees!! And as if the refugees are a burden on the Strip, and are foreigners, and [as if] it is not the responsibility of the ruling authority [i.e. the Hamas government], of which he is a part, to protect them!

"If this is really how things are, then we say, Fine, and what about the Strip residents who have been Gazan for generations?? They too remained without bomb shelters!

"We do not believe that this statement by Abu Marzouk includes anything of the language of resistance – and certainly anything of the language of patriotism, and not even of the language of human emotions... This is the language of absolute selfishness, in the vein of 'If I'm going to die of thirst, I don't care if it never rains again.'[1] Actually, this language is appropriate for a poet like Abu Firas Al-Hamdani, but inappropriate for someone who perceives himself as one of the leaders of the Palestinian people who seeks the liberation of Palestine!

"The refugees Mousa Abu Marzouk is talking about are Palestinians, and are not among the Arabs who are no longer with us.[2] They are [refugees] because of the first Nakba [i.e. the 1948 war]. Their national status is continued progress in the path of the national struggle for return. Concern for these people is the No. 1 national and moral mission and responsibility. Leaving them without a roof over their heads, and with no bomb shelters in a state of war, is a move that is not smart and that at the very least indicates no understanding of war – if that is all we say to Mousa Abu Marzouk!

"It is perfectly clear that this mistake has owners who are sticking with this mistake out of some hidden intent... and it is also clear that Mousa Abu Marzouk does not know that a good word is a good deed – and this word is unity, harmony, and mutual assistance. This is what our people – and first and foremost the refugees – need today most of all."[3]


[1] This saying is from the Qasida, or poetry, of Abu Firas Al-Hamdani (932-968) recounting stories of selfishness and narcissism.  

[2] A reference to the prehistoric Arab tribes that were wiped out, such as A'ad and Thamud.

[3] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (Palestinian Authority), November 13, 2023.

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