Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said in a March 19 speech in Ramallah that Hamas was behind the March 13 assassination attempt in Gaza against Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and Intelligence Chief Majed Faraj. Abbas revealed details of the Fatah-Hamas talks. He quoted Hamas leader Sinwar as saying that the Palestinian Authority could have everything “above ground” while Hamas would get to keep what is underground – the military infrastructure with its tunnels and missiles. Abbas attacked recent statements by American officials, singling out U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, whom he called “son of a dog,” and whom he accused of supporting the Israeli settlements. The speech aired on Palestine TV.
Following is a transcript:
Mahmoud Abbas: On behalf of myself, you, and the entire Palestinian people, I would like to congratulate our two big brothers, Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and Intelligence Chief Majed Faraj, for emerging safe, along with all the other officers and soldiers, from the sinful and despicable attack perpetrated by the Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip. Hamas is no stranger to such incidents, which is not out of the ordinary, considering their past practices. They were the first in the Arab and Islamic world to invent this kind of attack – killings and assassinations – which they started in the 1930’s and 1940’s. They have not changed this despicable modus operandi to this day.
We do not want them to investigate, to provide information, or anything, because we know full well that the Hamas movement itself was behind this, which it perpetrated in the most despicable and ignominious way.
I have said thousands of times that the so-called “Arab Spring”, which is lauded by some simple-minded idiots, incapable of thinking, is in fact an “American Spring”, which began in Gaza. We all know how [Hamas] joined the elections and then staged a coup, having received many [American] guarantees, both implicit and in public, because the U.S. wants to separate the Gaza Strip from the West Bank, so that there will be no united Palestinian state. This is something we should know. We must acknowledge the truth. We must not avoid the truth any longer.
The destruction of the Palestinian national enterprise is a plot that the Trump administration has begun to implement, by declaring Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel, by deciding to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, by stopping its funding of UNRWA, and by considering the settlements to be legal. This has been declared by several American officials, led by their ambassador in Tel Aviv, David Friedman, who said that “they are building on their land”. You son of a dog! Building on their land? He himself is a settler from a family of settlers, yet he is the American ambassador in Tel Aviv! What can we possibly expect from him?
The [Hamas officials] said in our meetings: “What is above ground will be yours, and what is underground will be ours”. How can there possibly be any security this way? Al-Zahhar, or whatever his name is, the new guy… [Yahya] Sinwar said: “If we have four tunnels, we want to turn them into a hundred, and if we have a thousand missiles, we want to turn them into ten thousand missiles, and we will get to keep them”. How can there be any security this way? Nevertheless, since the Egyptian witnesses were present, we said that we would like to complete the talks. We did not want to stop the talks, so nobody would say that we had taken a step back. We wanted to continue the talks, and continue we did for six months. What was the outcome? An assassination attempt. That’s the outcome.