Palestinian Leader Voices Criticism of Hamas, Official News Agency Later Retracts Controversial Remarks

The Palestinian Authority’s official news agency, WAFA, published and then revised comments by President Mahmoud Abbas in a discussion with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. The original comments criticized Hamas, but later removed any reference to the group.

According to Reuters, the alterations occurred hours after the comments were published on Sunday, Oct. 15, without any explanation from the Palestinian Authority or WAFA.

During the call, Abbas and Maduro discussed Israel’s recent bombardment of Gaza following a deadly Hamas-led attack on Israeli cities.

In the initial report, Abbas was quoted as saying, “Hamas’ policies and actions do not represent the Palestinian people.”

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However, a few hours later, this remark was changed to “The president also stressed that the policies, programs, and decisions of the PLO represent the Palestinian people as their sole legitimate representative, and not the policies of any other organization.”

The reason behind the removal of the critique against Hamas remains unclear, as there were no immediate comments from Abbas’ office, WAFA, or Hamas.

Abbas, who also heads the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), has a history of opposition to Hamas. Despite attempts at reconciliation, the rivalry between Hamas and Abbas’ Fatah party continues, with Hamas maintaining control over Gaza since its 2007 takeover.

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Image via Shutterstock

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Posted In: NewsPoliticsGeneralIsrael-Hamas WarMahmoud AbbasNicolas MaduroPalestine
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