Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyib Erdogan’s visit to the Gaza Strip reflects his support to the Palestinian people, a senior Hamas official said Monday.
Salah al-Bardawil told Ma’an that the “arrival of any Arab and Islamic supporters to the Gaza Strip or the West Bank is advantageous to the Palestinian people.”
However, he added, “the Palestinian Authority is shortsighted as they weigh things only from a partial angle.”
He added: “They see that any move to support the Palestinian people in Gaza is consolidating domination (by Hamas) as a representative of the Palestinian people.”
This is baseless, he said, pointing out that a reconciliation process between Hamas and Fatah is underway, and at this stage it is wrong to think that any support to Hamas harms Palestinian representation.
Al-Bardawil’s remarks came after a senior Fatah leader criticized visits to the Palestinian territories that are not coordinated with the Ramallah-based leadership.
Azzam al-Ahmad was quoted by Israel radio as saying the trip deepened the Hamas-Fatah split.
Earlier, Erdogan said he would go ahead with the trip in May despite US calls to delay the visit.
“There is no question of delaying this trip,” Erdogan said on Turkish television.
Washington had urged Erdogan to postpone visiting the impoverished Palestinian territory, saying it would be a “distraction” from US efforts to revive the moribund Middle East peace process.
(Ma’an – www.maannews.net)