Hamas political bureau chief Khalid Mishal, participating in the Open Dialogue programme on Monday, blamed the Palestinian Authority for not following through on its agreements and delivering to the people.

 

"The Palestinian Authority's political performance is negative, particularly concerning what Abu Mazin [Abbas] is capable of achieving," Mishal said.

 

Mishal said Abbas had not done enough to secure the release of Palestinian political prisoners from Israeli jails, a sensitive grass-roots issue for Palestinians.

 

"I cannot say that Abu Mazin has neglected the detainees issue, as this matter is bigger than Abu Mazin and the Palestinian Authority. It is a huge case that needs a unified Palestinian position. Israel is, however, the one being stubborn with regard to this issue.

 

Mutual responsibility

 

Mishal said: "Therefore, there is a mutual responsibility [concerning this case]."

 

"This is not only Hamas's assessment, but that of all the Palestinians. There are certain issues that are within Abu Mazin's control, but he has not done anything about them."

 

Mishal: Palestinians feel the
PA's efforts are inadequate

He said Hamas would hold the Palestinian Authority to its agreements.

 

"We will not accept mere empty promises, without any firm commitments to deliver," Mishal said.

 

"The situation is unacceptable for Palestinians on the street. Abu Mazin had a wonderful opportunity, but has not followed through," he said.

 

Mishal said Israel and the US should bear responsibility for threatening a fragile truce between the Palestinian Authority and the main 13 factions.

Committed to truce

At a Cairo meeting in March, the factions pledged to maintain an informal truce until the end of the year, but stopped short of declaring a full ceasefire.

Hamas has accused Israel of undermining the truce by continuing incursions into Palestinian territories and the building of the separation barrier.

"Our strategy is to deal with the issues at hand in a realistic fashion. We are willing to use diplomacy when it is required, and we are committed to armed resistance as long as the Zionists continue their aggression against our people."