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Zahhar: Gaza more secure than West Bank
Published Saturday 15/09/2012 (updated) 18/09/2012 09:48
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Zahhar says Hamas' relations with Iran are still strong.
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) – Seven years after Israel disengaged from the Gaza Strip, several things have changed both at the political and the economic level, Hamas official Mahmoud Zahhar said Friday.

Speaking to Ma’an, Zahhar asserted that “Gaza is free of occupation, and contiguity with the outside world is easier as visitors from all over the world visited the coastal enclave.”

He added that one year after the disengagement local and parliamentary elections took place in 2006. “Fatah turned against the outcome of elections, a siege has been imposed and the former Egyptian regime practiced certain policies including closure of the Rafah crossing.”

Despite all of that, he said, the economic situation has improved noticeably and the Gaza Strip became self-reliant in several aspects because lands in former Israeli settlements were planted. “We are self-dependent in several aspects except petroleum and electricity.”

Asked to comment on the protests in the West Bank against the deteriorating economic conditions, Zahhar said that was a natural result of economic reliance on the United States and Israel who completely control the Palestinian economy.

The Hamas official boasted that the economic conditions in the Gaza Strip are much better than in the West Bank; “people in Gaza receive full salaries, and all the money the Ramallah government transfers goes to Fatah supporters only.”

Asked whether or not he believes the Palestinian Authority has really collapsed, Zahhar said the replacement was ready. “The resistance program, which was originally replaced by the PA, is ready,” he said.

Zahhar expressed opposition to a bi-national state as an option after the two-state solution ended in failure. “I told you previously that the outcome of Oslo would be a big zero.

"The bi-national state which (Fatah leader) Ahmad Qurai is promoting, as well as the UN bid thing, UNESCO and negotiations are all indications that the program which Fatah introduced has come to an end. A bi-national state means that the other nationality has the same rights in Palestine as a whole, and this means Hamas’ program has won, and good evidence can be found in what has happened around us.”

With regard to Hamas’ relations with Iran, Zahhar asserted that the relations were deep-rooted and his visit to Iran was part of Hamas’ outreach policy. “We welcome support from whoever wants to support us as long as we are not asked to pay a price for that support.”
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1 ) some one / some where
15/09/2012 09:32
in your paper he said "Speaking to Ma’an, Zahhar asserted that “Gaza is free of occupationn " now you have ear or daft or what DR!!!!!!!!! say occupation and blockade and your president keep telling all the world 2 state solution what the hell are you people up to

2 ) what happened to blocade / and flottilas??
15/09/2012 09:53
all of a sudden there is prosperity in Gaza???

3 ) Jane / PA
15/09/2012 10:49
What to say. Just laugh.

4 ) Khaled / Palestine
15/09/2012 11:03
Bravo Mahmoud! Now give more talking points to the Israelis who claim that we dont have any siege against Gaza... tell all the international activists from the flotillas that they gave up their lives for nothing!

5 ) Tony B? / ME
15/09/2012 13:39
“Gaza is free of occupation, and contiguity with the outside world is easier as visitors from all over the world visited the coastal enclave.” “people in Gaza receive full salaries, and all the money the Ramallah government transfers goes to Fatah supporters only.”
What's that he says? But we were all told that Gaza is a prison camp, and its poor defenseless children are being starved to death by the terrible Zionists. I wonder what Colin and Julie have to say about this revelation...



6 ) WAS / UK
15/09/2012 13:49
God I can't stand this man. Both Hamas & Fatah are to blame for the bitter state of affairs in the Palestinian arena even though it was Abbas who staged a coup d'etat with the help of the enemies of Palestine. Abbas became a slug & a traitor ever since he opposed Arafat in 2002 and also his condemnation of the Second Intifada. Oh how I wish Marwan Barghouti was free.

7 ) Arnold / Canada
15/09/2012 15:16
Today Zahar said “Gaza is free of occupation, and contiguity with the outside world is easier as visitors from all over the world visited the coastal enclave.” Tomorrow he will be DEAD or he will say he was mis-quoted.

8 ) Paul / South Africa
15/09/2012 15:36
Wow, so if Gaza is free & properous, then the rocket attacks on Israeli civilian centres are not only an act of war, but a war crime itself.
Time to prosecute the criminal leaders of Gaza - The Hague here we come.

9 ) Mitri I. Musleh / Canada
15/09/2012 15:59
Mahmoud Zahhar is uneducated, uninformed and a big damn liar. With friends like Zahhar at the helm of the Palestinian leadership, who on earth needs an enemy?

10 ) Joseph from Ghetto of / Palestine
15/09/2012 16:13
Zahhar, a waiter in Persian Restaurant, went to Tahhran in order to get an additional tip for his hard job.

11 ) mohamed / somalia
15/09/2012 18:19
he is the part of the palestinian problem.

12 ) ABE / USA
15/09/2012 18:41
Oh great! Gaza is doing well now we can move on. Well stated #8 I concur!!

13 ) Arnold / Canada
15/09/2012 18:50
This report must be a precursor to calling an election. Instilling in the brains of the West Bank Pals that Hamas has freed Gaza and is now economically more viable than the West Bank under the rule of the PA.

14 ) Tibi / Tubas
15/09/2012 23:42
BOTH Gaza and the West Bank are only secure because Israel has NO reason to threaten them, and will NOT threaten without reason, and THE PEOPLE OF GAZA surely REMEMBER when Gaza was far less secure than the West Bank, because Hamas gave Israel a reason to threaten !!! - Every rational person realizes that: Liar Fool = Zahhar.

15 ) Filipe / Portugal
16/09/2012 01:35
Speaking to Ma’an, Zahhar asserted that “Gaza is free of occupation, and contiguity with the outside world is easier as visitors from all over the world visited the coastal enclave.” “We are self-dependent in several aspects except petroleum and electricity.” Wonderful !!!!!!! Now UNWRA can close up shop and move on! All is wonderful in Gaza. So now we won't need to listen to the constant whining any longer.

16 ) Emile / USA
16/09/2012 12:50
Palestinians would be better served by electing rocks than what we currently have in Hamas and Fateh.

17 ) The Main Leader / Palestine
17/09/2012 03:05
If child murderer Usrael wouldn't kill & terrorize Gaza, then Things would be much better and the army units would not have to fire rockets on Zionist IsrAeli towns to retaliate for their Zionist Jewish occupation tank terrorism incursions against Gaza schools and farms, not to mention all the assassinations against military members. Israel is a real Big Coward in this picture- just like always.

18 ) @ Leader-17 / USA
20/09/2012 14:22
- Israel does NOT "murder or terrorize" (self-defense only), and
- Israeli soldiers do NOT "cowardly" use civilians as human-shields,
BUT HAMAS IS GUILTY of what you accuse Israel, and
- Israel will end the fighting and sign a Peace Treaty with Hamas,
BUT HAMAS WILL NOT ACCEPT PEACE, and the calm/"hudna" they do accept are used for preparing for the next conflict that Hamas will initiate !!!!

19 ) Zahhar / Lies
20/09/2012 16:06
IF Hamas controlled Gaza is more secure than PLO controlled Areas A/B of the West Bank, THEN events like yesterday's (below**) would happen frequently in PLO controlled Areas A/B, but they never do, and
PLO forces almost never use civilians as human-shields either !!

** "Israeli military aircraft forces shelled a car and killed Ashraf Salah, 38, and Anees Abu al-Aynaen, 22, who worked in the security forces of the Hamas government."
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=521763

20 ) southparkbear / usa
21/09/2012 03:53
for more up to the minute news and ideas follow hana shalabi at twitter

21 ) Flabbergasted / Palestine
24/09/2012 20:52
Where is Zahhar living... fairyland?
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