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Palestinian leaders blame Hamas for war with Israel

by John Jefferson
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The party of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is now blaming Hamas for the “catastrophe” unfolding in the Gaza Strip in the wake of the terrorist group’s Oct. 7 attack on Israel. 

The criticism from Fatah, which also includes swipes at Hamas leadership living lavishly in Qatar and the group’s ties to Iran, comes after Hamas denounced the appointment of new Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Mustafa, according to the Jerusalem Post. 

“Did Hamas consult the Palestinian leadership or any Palestinian national party when it made its decision to carry out the ‘adventure’ of last October 7, which led to a catastrophe more horrific and crueler than the Nakba of 1948?” the West Bank-based political party was quoted as saying. 

Fatah reportedly added that Mustafa is “is armed with the national agenda and not with false agendas that have brought nothing but woes to the Palestinian people and have not achieved anything for them,” and asked if Hamas would rather “appoint a prime minister from Iran, or let Tehran appoint a prime minister for the Palestinians.” 


Fatah also said, “[I]t seems that the comfortable life that this [Hamas] leadership lives in seven-star hotels has blinded it from what is right,” and questioned why they would reside outside of the Gaza Strip while Palestinians face a “brutal war of extermination.” 

Hamas, following the appointment of Mustafa on Thursday, argued it was an “individual decision” that creates a “deepening of division at a pivotal historic moment,” the Post reported. 

Hamas reportedly called for a unified leadership and “free, democratic elections.” 


Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Mohammad Mustafa

In a statement announcing the appointment, Abbas asked Mustafa – his longtime economic adviser – to put together plans to re-unify administration in the West Bank and Gaza, lead reforms in the government, security services and economy, and fight corruption. 

“The United States will be looking for this new government to deliver on policies and implementation of credible and far-reaching reforms. A reformed Palestinian Authority is essential to delivering results for the Palestinian people and establishing the conditions for stability in both the West Bank and Gaza,” National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said. 

Ismail Haniyeh


Mustafa was born in the West Bank town of Tulkarem in 1954 and earned a doctorate in business administration and economics from George Washington University. He has held senior positions at the World Bank and previously served as deputy prime minister and economy minister. He is currently the chairman of the Palestine Investment Fund. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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