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Palestinians rally behind Hamas ahead of US-crafted resolution

Palestinian demonstrators clash with Israeli forces after a protest against Israeli land seizures for Jewish settlements, on November 30, 2018 in the village of Mughir, north of Ramallah. (Photo by AFP)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party has vowed to support its rival Hamas resistance movement at the United Nations General Assembly against a US-drafted resolution.

“We will stand against all hostile efforts to condemn Hamas at the United Nations,” Fatah spokesman Osama Qawassmeh said.

The UN General Assembly plans to vote Tuesday on a motion that would reportedly condemn the resistance movement “for repeatedly firing rockets into Israel and for inciting violence."

US diplomats held talks with their EU counterparts to win their backing for the draft resolution.

The spokesman said Fatah was prepared to put aside its differences with Hamas in order to reject the resolution against the resistance movement. 

“We will fight to defeat this resolution despite Hamas’s effort to undermine the legitimacy of the Palestinian Authority,” he said.

The Palestinian leadership has been divided between Fatah and Hamas since 2006, when the latter scored a landslide victory in parliamentary elections in the Gaza Strip.

Ever since, Hamas has been running the coastal enclave, while Fatah has been based in the autonomous parts of the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

Qawassmeh condemned the US-led motion, saying instead of denouncing Hamas, the world should rap Israel “which is the true face of state-sponsored terrorism.”

Hamas has condemned the resolution as an attempt to delegitimize the Palestinian resistance and reiterated the right of the Palestinian nation to defend itself and resist the occupation.

Head of Hamas Political Bureau Ismail Haniyeh flashes the V for victory sign along the fence between the Gaza Strip and the occupied territories, east of Gaza city, on October 12, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

Another top Fatah official, Abbas Zaki, also pledged to block the “racism par excellence” resolution, saying it is harmful to the Palestinian national project and struggle, and not only to a specific faction.

“If Hamas, which is practicing resistance, is labeled a terrorist movement, this would mean that all Palestinians practice terrorism,” Zaki told the Palestine Today website.

“Hamas belongs to us and we belong to Hamas. We can’t leave Hamas to fight alone,” he added.

Hamas hailed the Fatah stance and said it was “natural that all Palestinian factions stand against the US move at the UN General Assembly.”

The group's spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said if the resolution is passed, it would “criminalize the struggle of the Palestinian people.”

Senior Hamas leader Musa Abu Marzouk also praised Fatah’s decision as a “responsible position that expresses a national interest of a people living under occupation.”

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