Ali El-saleh
Asharq Alawsat
November 29, 2011 - 1:00am

London, Asharq Al-Awsat- Informed Palestinian sources have revealed to Asharq Al-Awsat that the Hamas Movement has been imposing severe disciplinary measures on Mahmud al-Zahar, member of the movement's Political Bureau, over remarks he made criticizing Khalid Mishal, head of Hamas Political Bureau.

Al-Zahar has been critical of Mishal over his acceptance of a Palestinian State within the 1967 borders, and giving another time-limit period for the negotiations with Israel in his address to the ceremony of signing the reconciliation agreement in Cairo on 4 May 2011.

The outspoken Al-Zahar has deviated from the custom of Hamas Movement by making the disputes within the movement public for the first time. Asharq Al-Awsat has tried more than once to contact Al-Zahar to ask him his opinion, but to no avail.

According to these sources, which asked to remain anonymous, the Hamas Political Bureau, which has reprimanded Al-Zahar in an extraordinary communique and considered his statements to represent only his personal opinion, has adopted a collection of disciplinary measures against Al-Zahar. These measures include: First, "warning of dismissal," second, withdrawing from him the dossier of Israeli Soldier Gilad Shalit, and third, withdrawing from him the dossier of national reconciliation. According to these sources, Al-Zahar is semi-frozen from action.

The absence of Al-Zahar was conspicuous during the signing of the agreement to exchange the prisoners in Cairo in October 2011 in which Mishal also participated. Al-Zahar's absence was also conspicuous from Hamas's delegation at the latest meetings between President Mahmud Abbas heading the Fatah delegation and Mishal heading the Hamas delegation, meetings that have been described as most frank, sincere, and clear.

These meetings have witnessed flexible stances from Hamas particularly toward the issue of calming down in the West Bank in addition to Gaza Strip, and the peaceful resistance to defeat the occupation in the West Bank. These stances have been interpreted as abandonment of the resistance by Hamas.


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