Hamas slams Abbas support for Israel security as search for missing teens continues

Wednesday 18 June 2014 22.47
An elderly Palestinian man sits near Israeli soldiers taking part in a search operation for three Israeli teenagers
An elderly Palestinian man sits near Israeli soldiers taking part in a search operation for three Israeli teenagers

Hamas has slammed Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas's support for security coordination with Israel, as the Jewish state pursued a manhunt for three teenagers.

"President Abbas's statements on security coordination with Israel are unjustified, harmful to Palestinian reconciliation ... and a psychological blow to the thousands of Palestinian prisoners suffering a slow death in the occupation's jails," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said.

"These statements are based solely on the Israeli narrative, without presenting any true information," Abu Zuhri added.

His comments came after Mr Abbas said security coordination with Israel was in the Palestinians' "interest" and pledged there would be no new intifada, or uprising against the Jewish state.

Since the teenagers disappeared on Thursday evening, Israeli troops have arrested some 240 Palestinians, mostly Hamas members, in mass raids across the occupied West Bank.

So far, there has been no formal claim of responsibility, and Hamas has dismissed Israel's accusations as "stupid."

It was Hamas's sharpest criticism of Mr Abbas since the Islamist movement signed a unity deal with the Palestine Liberation Organisation, which is dominated by Mr Abbas's Fatah party, aiming to end seven years of rival administrations in the West Bank and Gaza.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has urged the international community to press Mr Abbas to end his reconciliation deal with Hamas, citing the kidnapping as proof the movement's "terrorist" activities make it an unsuitable political partner.

On 2 June, Mr Abbas appointed a unity government made up of independents, which is committed to renouncing violence, but is backed by Hamas, which is sworn to the Jewish state's destruction.