Hamas slams Palestinian MK over Gaza assault message

Hamas slams Palestinian MK in Israeli parliament over Gaza assault message
2 min read
20 September, 2021
Raam parliamentarian Walid Taha made a 'national and moral misstep', according to Abdel Latif Al-Qanou, a spokesman for Hamas.
Walid Taha sits in Israel's parliament for the Palestinian-Islamist Raam faction [DeAgostini/Getty]

Hamas slammed a Palestinian MK in Israel's parliament on Sunday for suggesting his party will not quit the governing coalition if a new Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip is launched.

Raam parliamentarian Walid Taha was quizzed on Saturday by Israeli broadcaster Channel 12 about the possibility of another Israeli assault against the besieged enclave.

An 11-day air campaign on Gaza in May killed 256 Palestinians and led to huge anger in the Palestinian territories.

"We despise wars, no matter [whether conducted by] the former, current or next government," Taha said.

"What is the alternative? Let's assume, God forbid, that there is a war with Gaza. So we have left the coalition, and then will the next government do good for Gaza?"

The Knesset member said his party seeks "influence" concerning "matters of peace and war".

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The next day, he made efforts to soften his statements on Israeli state radio, as they prompted a backlash.

Speaking to Arabic station Makan, Taha explained Raam would not stand by when the next war takes place.

"We cannot ignore such a situation and we don't want it to happen, but we won't pre-empt such a situation," Taha asserted.

However, he drew the ire of Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, and slammed the lawmaker on Sunday.

The organisation claimed he had made "hesitant declarations" about the topic.

He made a "national and moral misstep and attest[ed] to a disconnection from the Palestinian Arab identity", according to Abdel Latif Al-Qanou, a spokesman for Hamas.

Taha's statements "do not express authenticity and don’t reflect our values", Al-Qanou explained.

The Islamist Raam Party became the only Palestinian faction to have ever been part of an Israeli government in June, amid significant scepticism from many Palestinians.