Saturday, September 8, 2012

Hamas official: Protests are start of uprising, may extend to Gaza

Maan News Agency
Published today (updated) 08/09/2012 11:31
Moussa Abu Marzouq is a senior Hamas leader in exile.
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- The ongoing protests in the West Bank mark the beginning of a new uprising against the Israeli occupation motivated by economic crises and could extend to the Gaza Strip, says Hamas official in exile Mousa Abu Marzouq.

Speaking by telephone late Friday, the deputy chief of Hamas’ politburo said President Mahmoud Abbas "should take a courageous decision before it’s too late. The Palestinian Authority was meant to become an independent entity, but the opposite happened."

Abu Marzouq expressed concern that “someone could target the president just as what happened with late Palestinian president Abu Ammar (Yasser Arafat) because Israel has recently described him as needless.”

However, the Hamas leader expects Israel to intervene and “rescue” the PA because Israel is still interested in the presence of the PA. “The PA will not fall unless Israel wants it to fall, or the Palestinian people decide to change the situation.”

Addressing the PA prime minister Salam Fayyad, Abu Marzouq suggested that he allocate a large portion of the money spent on the security services in the West Bank to help citizens. “Why spend extravagantly on the security services for no use but to protect settlement activities and to imprison our young people?” asked the Hamas official.

Abu Marzouq said he had not contacted any of the PA leaders to inquire about the ongoing protests despite enjoying good relations with many officials.

Asked about the Gaza Strip, he agreed that people there suffer from unemployment, shortages in electricity and infrastructure as well as a high cost of living, but the suffering in Gaza “is different,” he said.

“I can’t rule out the possibility that protests extend to Gaza even though the Gaza Strip is under siege, however protests against the government in Gaza will not end the siege.”

“Every people have the right to revolt regardless of the geographic location if their dignity is harmed, and the utmost harm to people’s dignity comes from occupation by another people. In Gaza, this aspect is different from the West Bank, but if the people starve, they have the right to stand in the face of their rulers.”

Trying to explain the deterioration in the West Bank, Abu Marzouq said when the Israelis addressed peace, they reduced it to “economic peace” while Salam Fayyad was talking about economic development.

“The Palestinian people’s main problem isn’t economic. They are under occupation deprived of sovereignty and freedom. They can’t freely make economic decisions, and neither Fayyad nor any other person can take decisions independently without the intervention of occupation. Thus, the remedy lies basically in how to get rid of occupation.”

“I wish President Abbas would face the problem as a whole. For 20 years, we have been addressing something here and something there, but without addressing the political path we have chosen and now we are reaping its results. The problem lies in Abu Mazen’s political path which needs to be reconsidered in light of Israel’s rejection to all proposals.

“Every day we hear about a new settlement project in the West Bank. They have controlled tourism in Bethlehem and in Jerusalem, and they control agriculture as well leaving nothing to the Palestinian people, and Abu Mazen still insists on flirting with Israel.”