GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — The Latest on Israel and the Palestinian territories (all times local):
Hamas is warning Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas that dissolving the parliament it controls would bring chaos.
Abbas’ announcement Saturday to dismantle the Palestinian Legislative Council “destroys the political system and opens the door to chaos in the Palestinian arena,” said Yehiha Moussa, a Hamas lawmaker.
Moussa says the PLC, where Hamas holds a majority after a 2006 landslide victory against Abbas’ Fatah party, expires only when a new parliament is formed after elections.
But the PLC has been idle and divided since Hamas seized Gaza by force in 2007 after its victory in the parliamentary elections. Its laws are limited to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. The West Bank is ruled by the Palestinian Authority, which Abbas chairs.
Moussa rejected Abbas’ claims that Hamas blocks national unity, accusing Fatah of hindering Egyptian efforts to achieve Palestinian reconciliation.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says he will implement a court order to dissolve the inactive parliament controlled by the rival Hamas movement.
The Palestinian Legislative Council has been divided since the militant Hamas group wrested control of Gaza after deadly fighting with pro-Abbas forces in 2007, a year after it won parliamentary elections.
Speaking at a PLO meeting Saturday, Abbas said the Constitutional Court ruled to dissolve the PLC and called for elections in six months. Abbas vowed “to execute this (decision) immediately.”
Breaking up the parliament is mostly symbolic since it’s not functioning. Hamas’ parliamentary bloc meets in Gaza and passes laws applicable only to the coastal enclave without consultations with the West Bank, where Abbas is based.
Abbas says the move is to pressure Hamas into accepting Egyptian efforts for a national Palestinian reconciliation.
Thousands of Palestinians have attended the burials of four people killed by Israeli fire during protests along the Gaza-Israel frontier.
Funerals were held across the Gaza Strip on Saturday, a day after the four were shot, including 16-year-old Mohammed Jahjouh.
Friday’s protests were the deadliest in a month and a half of relatively restrained protests that saw one fatality.
Since the protest campaign started in March, 180 Palestinians and an Israeli soldier have been killed, according to health officials and a local rights group.
Hamas has staged the rallies to pressure Israel and Egypt into easing the blockade they imposed when the Islamic militant group seized Gaza in 2007.
Top Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh told mourners that his movement complained to mediators over deaths and vowed to keep up the protests.