Palestinian police kick Hamas speaker out of Ramallah

The bitter rivalry between Palestinian political factions continues to heat up, with Abbas’ security forces barring a leading Hamas speaker from entry to Ramallah.

By Associated Press and World Israel News

Palestinian police barred the Hamas-affiliated speaker of the Palestinian parliament from entering Ramallah.

Speaker Aziz Dweik had been set to hold a press conference in Ramallah to criticize President Mahmoud Abbas’ decision to dissolve the Palestinian legislature, which is controlled by the rival Hamas terror group.

Palestinian police sent Dweik packing, saying parliament’s dissolution “has come into effect” and “no one can say he is a speaker or member of the council.”

Abbas’ decision last week to disband the non-functioning parliament is mostly symbolic, signaling the deepening divide between his Fatah party and Hamas.

The bitter split traces back to 2007, when Hamas wrested control of Gaza in a bloody coup, relegating Fatah rule to portions of Judea and Samaria.

After Abbas announced his intention to dissolve the parliament, Hamas member Yehiha Moussa issued a threatening statement claiming that the step “destroys the political system and opens the door to chaos in the Palestinian arena.”

Abbas is currently in the thirteenth year of a four-year term, with the last Palestinian elections held well over a decade ago.