Hamas officials move to Syria

Tuesday, March 06, 2007 |  by Staff Writer
In protest of the new Palestinian unity government, two senior Hamas officials moved to Syria, Fatah legislator Jamal Tirawi said on Monday.

Interior Minister Said Siam and Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri strongly opposed the Mecca agreement, which was reached last month between Fatah and Hamas.

“There is a split inside Hamas,” said Tirawi, representative of the Nablus district in the Palestinian Legislative Council. “Siam and Abu Zuhri, who have moved to Syria, represent the radical trend, while [Palestinian Authority Prime Minister] Ismail Haniyeh and [Hamas leader] Khaled Mashaal belongs to the moderate side.”

Tirawi said Fatah is engaged in a power struggle of a different kind.

“The rivalry in Fatah is between representatives of different generations,” he said, referring to the long-standing power struggle between the old guard and young guard.

“Haniyeh is not able to make decisive decisions because of the opposition he is facing from top Hamas leaders and activists, who don't want the partnership with Fatah,” one source said. “Abbas, on the other hand, is facing many difficulties inside Fatah, where representatives of the young guard are demanding a larger role in power.”

Hamas and Fatah officials are still finding it difficult to appoint ministers and have yet to reveal the identity of the coalition.

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