Hamas says won't accept a new 'Vichy government' in Gaza

AFP , Monday 6 Nov 2023

Hamas will not accept a puppet government in the Gaza Strip and will remain in the territory, said a leader of the Palestinian Islamist group in Lebanon on Monday.

Osama Hamdan
Osama Hamdan, leader of Hamas Islamist group in Lebanon. AP


Israel has said it intends to destroy Hamas after its Al-Aqsa Flood on 7 October.

"To those who think that Hamas will disappear, Hamas will remain entrenched in the conscience of our people, and no force on Earth can annihilate or marginalise it," Osama Hamdan told a news conference.

The senior Hamas official said Israel ally the United States planned to replace its rule in Gaza, likening such a move to Nazi Germany's puppet state in France during World War II.

"Our people will not allow the United States to impose its plans to create an administration that suits it and that suits the occupation (Israel), and our people will not accept a new Vichy government," he said.

"We would like to remind those who seek to depose Hamas... that we are an integral part" of the Palestinian people, added Hamdan.

According to the Palestanian health ministry, the Israel's military intensive bombardment of Gaza since October 7, has left more than 10,000 people dead, including 4,104 children, more than 2,600 women, and 600 elderly, while injuring more than 24,000.

The ministry said it has also received 2,660 reports of individuals missing under the rubble, with 1,270 of them being children.

On Tuesday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told Congress that "at some point" the Palestinian Authority (PA), led by President Mahmud Abbas, should take control of the Gaza Strip.

International third parties could possibly play a role in the intervening period, Blinken said.

And Abbas, whose Fatah party is Hamas's rival, said on Sunday that "the Gaza Strip is an integral part of the State of Palestine".

The Palestanian Authority was driven out of Gaza by Hamas in 2007.

"We will fully assume our responsibilities within the framework of a comprehensive political solution that includes all of the West Bank, including east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip", the areas the PA proposes for a Palestinian state, Abbas said after Blinken visited Ramallah.

The PA only has authority over some sections of the occupied West Bank, with east Jerusalem annexed by Israel and Gaza under Hamas control.

Israel seized the West Bank and east Jerusalem in 1967.

The last Palestinian legislative elections took place in 2006 and were won by Hamas.

* This story was edited by Ahram Online.

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