On Tuesday, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas delivered a televised speech commemorating the late Yasser Arafat in which he talked about the legacy of Arafat and the current struggle for Palestinian liberation.
He said that Hamas was to be blamed for last week's explosions on Fatah leaders in Gaza. "Hamas' leaders are responsible for the criminal explosions at houses of Fatah leaders in Gaza, and Hamas remarks against us are similar to those of the occupation."
A Hamas spokesperson, Mushir al-Masri, responded by saying that Abbas was being "sectarian and partisan." "Abbas's speech is web of lies, insults, and disinformation … What the Palestinian people need is a courageous president."
Last week, after the explosions, Hamas quickly condemned the attacks on Fatah in Gaza and encouraged Fatah to continue their plans to meet in the Gaza Strip.
In the speech Abbas also said that he was sending a draft resolution to the U.N. Security Council asking for a vote on ending the Israeli occupation. If this petition was not successful, he said, the Palestinian Authority (PA) will “sign all conventions and join all organizations starting with the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court in order to protect our people."
In reference to recent clashes and protests which have erupted over the past couple of months in East Jerusalem and spread throughout West Bank, Abbas said, “(We) will defend Al-Aqsa and the churches against the settlers and extremists." Israeli right-wing extremists have been demanding to be allowed to pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque and have taken provocative marches onto the Mosque compound flanked by Israeli security forces.