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Fatah spokesman slams Hamas leader's PA comments

Dec. 31, 2012 1:57 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 2, 2013 7:54 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Fatah spokesman Ahmad Assaf on Monday condemned a Hamas leader's remark that if President Mahmoud Abbas wants to renounce control of the West Bank, he should pass it to Hamas.

Amid a growing financial crisis and negotiations stalemate, Abbas again this week warned that he could dismantle his Palestinian Authority government, forcing Israel to take responsibility for the Palestinian population.

"If the stalemate continues...what's left for us to do?" he told Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

Hamas deputy politburo chief Mousa Abu Marzouq seized on the remark in a Facebook post, calling on Abbas to hand the reigns, not to Israel, but to Hamas, Abbas' long-time foe.

Fatah's Assaf on Monday hit back at the post, saying: "Do Abu Marzouq and Hamas accept to govern the West Bank while settlements are there and during this situations which will only lead to a state with temporary borders and a state without Jerusalem?"

"Does Abu Marzouq want to tell Israel that he accepts what Abbas refuses and what Fatah and the PLO refuse? And that he’s ready to be a replacement of the legitimate leadership which is being surrounded politically and financially because of its national positions."

He reiterated claims by Fatah officials that "some Palestinian groups," ostensibly referring to Hamas, are in secret talks in a regional country to accept a Palestinian state based on temporary borders.
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