...If and when Hamas carries out its plan and establishes its own sovereign state in the Gaza Strip, the international community, primarily the U.S. and EU, will have to come to terms with the fact that the two-state solution has finally been realized; the Palestinians ended up with two states of their own -- an Islamist emirate in the Gaza Strip and a PLO-controlled state in the West Bank. The Americans and Europeans will also have to listen very carefully to what Hamas is saying: namely, that a Palestinian state in the West Bank or Gaza Strip, or any part of the Palestinian territories, would not end its struggle to destroy Israel and replace it with the State of Greater Palestine.
16 April '15..
As the U.S. Administration and the international community continue to push for a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians, Hamas seems to be working toward establishing an independent state of its own in the Gaza Strip.
In recent weeks, reports have surfaced in a number of Arab and Western media outlets to the effect that Hamas leaders have decided to establish a "higher committee" for managing the affairs of the Gaza Strip.
Although Hamas spokesmen have denied the reports, sources close to the Islamist movement said that discussions were underway with representatives of other Palestinian groups in the Gaza Strip to set up the "higher committee."
The sources said that the decision came after Hamas gave up on the idea of achieving "national reconciliation" with Mahmoud Abbas's rival Fatah faction.
Abbas and Fatah see the talk about a "higher committee" as a sign of Hamas's intention to proceed with its scheme to establish a Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip. They consider the purported plan a "severe blow" to the two-state solution and unity among Palestinians.
Mahmoud Zahar, a senior Hamas leader, last week confirmed that his movement was working toward turning the Gaza Strip into an independent state. "There is nothing wrong or shameful about labeling the current situation in the Gaza Strip an authority or administration," Zahar said. "If we establish an emirate or state in the Gaza Strip or in any part of Palestine, this would not mean that we are prepared to give up one inch of Palestine."
He later went on to explain that Abbas's Fatah faction, which controls the West Bank, would be excluded from the proposed administration in the Gaza Strip "because of its collusion with the Israeli occupation."
Zahar's statements came amid mounting tensions between Hamas and the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority.
In the past few weeks, Hamas leaders stepped up their criticism of Abbas, who recently celebrated his 80th birthday, and called for his removal from the political scene. Hamas leaders also do not miss an opportunity to remind everyone that Abbas is no longer a legitimate president, because his term in office expired back in January 2009.
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