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Sunday, July 14, 2013

Side benefit to coup in Egypt: Food fight among 'Palestinians'

Khaled Abu Toameh reports on a side benefit to last week's coup in Egypt: Hamas and Fatah are more likely to be at each other's throats than reconciling, at least for the time being.
While Fatah supports the military coup that toppled the Muslim Brotherhood regime, Hamas has come out in favor of deposed president Mohamed Morsi.
During Friday’s prayers at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, hundreds of Muslims staged a demonstration in support of Morsi.
Hoisting Hamas flags, they chanted slogans against Egyptian Defense Minister Abdul Fatah al-Sisi and the US. They also posted a large portrait of Morsi at the entrance to the Aksa Mosque. The demonstration drew sharp criticism from Fatah and Palestinian Authority leaders.
Shortly after the demonstration, PA President Mahmoud Abbas phoned Sisi and Egyptian interim President Adly Mansour and told them he was opposed to any attempt to meddle in Egypt’s internal affairs.
In Kafr Kana, near Nazareth, on Saturday, more than 2,000 supporters of the Islamic Movement demonstrated against the overthrow of Morsi.
The head of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, Sheikh Raed Saleh, told the demonstrators that those who acted against Morsi were also operating against Jerusalem, the Aksa Mosque and Palestine.
Abbas, who was one of the first Arab leaders to congratulate the Egyptians on the coup, is worried that the demonstration on the Temple Mount would cause further damage to relations between Egypt and the Palestinians, a PA official in Ramallah said.
“Hamas’s meddling in Egypt’s internal affairs has already caused extensive damage to our relations with the Egyptians,” the official said.
“We respect the choice of the Egyptian people, who decided to remove their president for their own reasons.”
A Fatah spokesman is blaming Israel for the demonstrations.
Fatah spokesman Ahmed Assaf accused supporters of Hamas and the Islamic Movement in Israel of being behind Friday’s pro-Morsi, anti-US demonstration. He also criticized Israeli authorities for failing to prevent it, saying it took place “under the watchful eye” of the Israeli authorities.
“How were the Hamas supporters able to bring all the big placards and flags into the compound of the Aksa Mosque at a time when all the worshipers were being subjected to thorough searches by the occupation soldiers?” Assaf asked.
“Chanting slogans against the Egyptian people and army harms the interests of our people and their cause,” he argued. “The protest does not represent Jerusalem and its residents.”
How did they used to throw stones from the Temple Mount when they were being searched? Obviously, this was planned in advance.


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