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Sheikh: PA disrupts launch of new political party

Dec. 12, 2012 8:45 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 13, 2012 10:16 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Former supreme judge Sheikh Tayseer Tamimi said Wednesday that Palestinian Authority security services disrupted the launch of his new political party.

Tamimi, former chief justice of the PA, announced his new party, Haris, or Guard, on Wednesday. He had earlier said the party would be called Freedom and Independence Party for the Defense of Holy Sites.

The sheikh told Ma'an that secretary-generals of Palestinian factions had been invited to the official inauguration of Haris, but did not attend.

"They seem to have been influenced by the Palestinian Authority’s announcement that the party was not licensed by the ministry of interior," he said.

Few attended the inauguration because PA security services intervened and prevented people from joining the ceremony, Tamimi added.

PA Interior Ministry official Hassan Ilwei told Ma'an on Sunday that Tamimi's party had not been registered or legally approved.

Tamimi says he submitted an application to register the party on Oct. 31.

"According to the law, if the Ministry of Interior receives an application to form a new political party and does not reply within five days, the party is automatically approved. If the ministry decides to reject the application, it must reply in five days." Tamimi said.

Tamimi said his party supported all aspects of resistance to occupation, but that it did not have a military wing.

"A decision to form a military wing should be taken by the party’s politburo," he said.

The seven-member politburo includes Ahmad Ubeidat and Khalid Dawood, Tamimi said, adding that the party had members in Palestinian refugee camps in Jordan.

Tamimi's party is affiliated to Modern Egypt, an independent faction headed by Nabil Thabit of Modern Egypt University. The Egyptian party has pledged to fund offices for Haris in Ramallah and other Palestinian cities, Tamimi said.

Tamimi said he would travel to the Gaza Strip soon to open offices in the enclave.

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