World Bulletin/News Desk
A Palestinian negotiator has criticized statements linking recently pledged donations for the rebuilding of the devastated Gaza Strip to the sidelining of the resistance group Hamas.
"These are irresponsible statements," Qais Abdel-Karim, who also serves as deputy secretary-general of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, told Anadolu Agency on Sunday.
An Egyptian diplomat, requesting anonymity, had told AA that funds pledged for the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip would not be made available to the Palestinians before Hamas leaves the political scene.
"The reconstruction of the Gaza Strip has been assigned by the U.N. to the Palestinian national unity government," said Abdel-Karim.
Unveiled in June, the Palestinian unity government was drawn up in line with an April reconciliation deal between Hamas and rival faction Fatah.
The deal also entails holding parallel legislative and presidential elections.
"The reconstruction of the Gaza Strip has nothing to do with organizing parliamentary and presidential elections," Abdel-Karim insisted.
Donors attending a conference on the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip in the Egyptian capital Cairo last week pledged $5.4 billion to the Palestinians, half of which would go for the reconstruction of the coastal enclave.
Home to some 1.9 million Palestinians, the Gaza Strip – blockaded by Israel since 2006 – continues to reel from a recent Israeli military onslaught that left over 2,160 Gazans, mostly civilians, dead and 11,000 injured in July and August.
The Egyptian diplomat had suggested that during a meeting between Arab and western diplomats and representatives of international organizations to discuss mechanisms for channeling the pledged funds, some had expressed reservations about the presence of Hamas on the Palestinian political scene.
He added that some also expressed fear that the funds could be used for "other purposes," without elaborating.
Hamas, which controlled the Gaza Strip since winning the 2006 general elections, had also criticized the remarks.
"Hamas did not ask to or even think of putting Gaza reconstruction funds in its treasury," Moussa Abu Marzouq, the group's deputy leader, said in a statement.Güncelleme Tarihi: 19 Ekim 2014, 23:29