‘Abandon the betting on Biden’: Hamas, Jihad, slam PA for renewing contacts with Israel

Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem demands the PA “immediately reverse this political sin.”

By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

The Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror groups slammed the Palestinian Authority for renewing security coordination with Israel, with Hamas saying the PA should “abandon the betting on Biden,” the Almanat Arab news website reported Wednesday.

In separate statements, Hamas and Islamic Jihad called on the PA leadership to immediately withdraw the decision announced Tuesday that owing to President Donald Trump apparently losing the U.S. election, the Palestinian Authority was renewing its ties with the Israeli government that it had cut off earlier this year.

The PA stopped security coordination earlier this year and refused to accept hundreds of millions in tax money transfers due to Israeli plans to apply sovereignty over settlements in Judea and Samaria. Those plans where shelved in favor of Israel signing peace treaties with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, with the Palestinians saying the Gulf Arab nations had stabbed them in the back by making a separate peace agreement with Israel.

In a statement, Hamas said the PA decision to renew ties with Israel “gives justification to the Arab normalization camp, which it had always condemned and rejects,” and called on the Authority to “abandon the betting on [U.S. president-elect Joe] Biden.”

Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem tweeted that the PA decision “is a disregard for Palestinian public opinion” and demanded the PA “immediately reverse this political sin.”

Before the election, Palestinian officials talked with the Biden camp. According to Palestinian sources, Biden promised to reverse some of President Trump’s decisions, which included closing the Palestine Liberation Organization office in Washington in 2018, merging the U.S. consulate in eastern Jerusalem with the American embassy in Jerusalem, and cutting financial aid to the Palestinian Authority and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).

The Islamic Jihad Movement called the PA decision a “coup against all national partnership endeavors and an alliance with the occupation,” saying “the continuation of the losing bet on the United States opens the way for passing plots to liquidate the Palestinian cause.”

Although the PA claimed it stopped engaging in security coordination with Israel six months ago, both Israeli and Palestinian security sources estimated some cooperation had continued. A major portion of that cooperation involves PA and Israeli security forces following Hamas and Islamic Jihad activities in Judea and Samaria to prevent terror attacks and at the same time ensure security for the PA itself from the two terror groups.