October 16, 2023 Special Dispatch No. 10873

Palestinian Authority News Agency Quotes Abbas As Condemning Hamas's Actions, Then Deletes The Condemnation

October 16, 2023
Palestinians | Special Dispatch No. 10873

An October 15, 2023 report by the Palestinian Authority (PA) news agency WAFA quoted PA President Mahmoud Abbas as condemning Hamas' actions and saying that they "do not represent the Palestinian people." However, several hours later WAFA edited the report and deleted this explicit condemnation of Hamas. It should be noted that, on past occasions, Abbas directed harsh criticism at Hamas, saying that its leaders hide in mosques during wars or use ambulances to flee Gaza, and that Hamas "does not care if Gaza is erased" from the face of the earth. 

The following are details about the WAFA report and about Abbas' past statements:

WAFA Quotes Abbas As Condemning Hamas, Then Edits The Report

The WAFA report dealt with a phone call between Abbas and the President of Venezuela regarding the war currently raging between Hamas and Israel. It claimed that, during their conversation, "the [Palestinian] president stressed that Hamas' policy and actions do not represent the Palestinian people, and that the policy, plans and decisions of the PLO are the ones that represent this people, since [the PLO] is its sole legitimate representative."[1] 

WAFA's original report

Later, WAFA edited the report, deleting the explicit remarks against Hamas. The edited report stated that "The [Palestinian] president stressed that the policy, plans and decisions of the PLO – not the policy of any other organization – are the ones that represent this people, since [the PLO] is its sole legitimate representative."[2] 

WAFA's edited report

Abbas In The Past: Hamas Does Not Care If Gaza Is Erased; Hamas Leaders Hid In Mosques And Fled In Ambulances; Rocket Attacks On Israel Are A Crime Against Humanity

In the past, Abbas has strongly condemned Hamas' terrorist actions. In an October 13, 2009 speech, he stated that, during the December-2008/January 2009 round of fighting between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, Hamas' leaders had hidden in mosques and used ambulances to flee from Gaza to Sinai, and added that Hamas did not care if Gaza was erased as long as Hamas itself survived.[3]

To view his statements on MEMRI TV, click below:

In an interview he gave on August 28, 2014, after Israel's operation in Gaza, he condemned Hamas for "lying" about its responsibility for the June 2014 abduction of the three Israeli teens that had led to the outbreak of the fighting. 

To view his statements on MEMRI TV, click below:

It was also reported that, in July 2014, Abbas had issued a memo to all the Palestinian embassies in Europe and the U.S. directing them to clarify to the international bodies that Hamas' firing of rockets was "a crime against humanity and that the PA under Mahmoud Abbas firmly opposes the use of rockets by Hamas or by any other Palestinian faction." According to the report, then Palestinian Ambassador to the UN Ibrahim Khraishi followed this directive when he told the press that "the Palestinian rockets are a crime against humanity."[4]



[1], October 15, 2023.

[2], October 15, 2023.

[3] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (PA), October 14, 2009.

[4], July 13, 2014; see MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 5795 - Hamas, Palestinian Authority Trade Accusations Over Israeli Operation In Gaza – July 14, 2014

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