Abbas to dissolve Palestinian parliament, Hamas fumes

The Hamas terror group claims Abbas’ move to eliminate the Palestinian parliament “opens the door to chaos.”

By Associated Press and World Israel News Staff

After Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas announced Saturday he would dissolve the Palestinians’ non-functioning parliamentary body, the Hamas terror organization threatened that the move would would bring “chaos.”

Abbas’ decision to dismantle the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) “destroys the political system and opens the door to chaos in the Palestinian arena,” said Yehiha Moussa, a Hamas lawmaker.

Moussa says the PLC, where Hamas holds a majority after a 2006 landslide victory against Abbas’ Fatah party, expires only when a new parliament is formed after elections.

But the PLC has been idle and divided since Hamas seized Gaza by force in 2007 after a bloody coup and parliamentary elections. Its laws are limited to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, while Palestinian areas of Judea and Samaria are ruled by the PA, which Abbas chairs.

Moussa rejected Abbas’ claims that Hamas blocks national unity, accusing Fatah of hindering Egyptian efforts to achieve Palestinian reconciliation.

Speaking at a PLO meeting Saturday, Abbas said the Constitutional Court ruled to dissolve the PLC and called for elections in six months. Abbas vowed “to execute this (decision) immediately.”

The Palestinians last held elections 13 years ago, with Abbas’ four-year term continuing indefinitely.

Breaking up the parliament is mostly symbolic since it’s not functioning. Hamas’ parliamentary bloc meets in Gaza and passes laws applicable only to the coastal enclave without consultations with Abbas’ party.

Abbas says the move is designed to pressure Hamas into accepting Egyptian efforts related to Palestinian “reconciliation.”