Hamas official says unity deal to remain despite car bomb

A handout picture released on October 27, 2017 by the office of Gaza's senior Hamas leader Ismail Haniya shows him (L) visiting Tawfiq Abu Naim (C), director general of the internal security forces, at a hospital in Gaza City, 29 October 2017. Photo: Handout / Ismail Haniya's office / AFP

GAZA CITY – Hamas security chief Tawfiq Abu Naim left hospital Saturday after being wounded in a car bombing and pledged that an agreement aimed at ending a decade-long rift with rivals Fatah would remain on track.

The Friday explosion that moderately wounded Abu Naim was branded by the Hamas interior ministry as "a failed assassination attempt."

Hamas chief Ismail Haniya signalled Israel was to blame, but no one has claimed responsiblity.

Abu Naim said in a statement on Saturday that "the objectives of those who committed this despicable act will not be achieved."

"We are determined to leave the split behind and realise the important national unity at all costs," he said.

Abu Naim said a November 1 deadline for Hamas to hand over border crossings to the Palestinian Authority would be adhered to.

READ: Hamas executes three over commander's murder

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas's Fatah movement signed a reconciliation accord on October 12 with Islamist movement Hamas, which has run the Gaza Strip for 10 years.

Under the deal, the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority is to resume control of Gaza,  which Hamas seized in a near civil war with Fatah in 2007, by December 1.

The fate of the Hamas security forces after it transfers power to the PA in the territory is one of the most delicate issues facing the reconciliation process.

Abbas wants the handover to be comprehensive and include all security institutions, but the Hamas leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, has said "no one" can force his group to disarm.

Israel and the United States have meanwhile said that Hamas must disarm as part of any unity government.

They have also said it must recognise Israel.

The Abbas-led Palestine Liberation Organisation has recognised Israel, but Hamas has not.

Israel and Hamas have fought three wars since 2008.


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