Middle East News
Hamas rejects al-Qaeda accusations
Mar 12, 2007, 9:59 GMT
Gaza - A senior leader of the Palestinian ruling Hamas movement rejected Monday statements accusing the organization of 'selling out the Palestinians' by signing a power-sharing deal with the more moderate Fatah party of President Mahmoud Abbas.
Khalil Abu Laila told reporters in Gaza that Ayman al-Zawahiri, the Egyptian-born number two in the al-Qaeda terrorist network, 'made many mistakes' when he slammed Hamas and the power-sharing agreement signed in Mecca on February 8.
'Hamas did not give up Palestine and when we signed the Mecca deal we aimed at saving the Palestinian blood,' Abu Laila said.
In a video recording broadcast Sunday on the Qatar-based al- Jazeera channel, al-Zawahri said Hamas has 'given Palestine to the Jews' in order to remain in office.
He also attacked Saudi Arabia, which hosted Hamas-Fatah talks last month, and accused the Saudis of being America's deputies in the Middle East.
'Hamas has been in office for a year but has maintained the Palestinian principles,' Abu Laila insisted.
The Hamas-Fatah government agreed on in Mecca is likely to be announced in the coming days, Palestinian spokesmen have said.© 2007 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur