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Hamas Lashes Out at Abbas' 'Unilateral' Designation of New Palestine PM




cairo —
The Islamist group Hamas on Friday criticized the "unilateral" designation by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of an ally and leading business figure as prime minister with a mandate to help reform the Palestinian Authority (PA) and rebuild Gaza.

Mohammad Mustafa's appointment comes after mounting pressure to overhaul the governing body of the occupied Palestinian territories and improve governance in the occupied West Bank where it is based.

Hamas said the decision was taken without consulting it, despite the fact that it recently took part in a meeting in Moscow also attended by Abbas' Fatah movement to end longtime divisions weakening Palestinian political aspirations.

"We express our rejection of continuing this approach that has inflicted and continues to inflict harm on our people and our national cause," Hamas said in a statement.

"Making individual decisions and engaging in superficial and empty steps such as forming a new government without national consensus only reinforces a policy of unilateralism and deepens division."

At a time of war with Israel, Palestinians need a unified leadership preparing for free democratic elections involving all components of their society, it added.

In the West Bank, Fatah fired back at Hamas' criticism of Abbas, blaming it for what had befallen Gaza since it unilaterally carried out "the Oct. 7 adventure."

"Has Hamas consulted the Palestinian leadership as it is negotiating with Israel now and offering the concessions, in a bid to secure guarantees of its leaders' personal safety in return?" said the Fatah statement.