Hamas-led authorities accuse PA of trying to infiltrate northern Gaza

Hamas-led authorities accuse PA of trying to infiltrate northern Gaza
A senior Gaza interior ministry official has accused the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority of trying to infiltrate northern Gaza in coordination with Israel.
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The Gaza interior ministry said PA security officers tried to infiltrate Gaza during an aid delivery [Loay Ayyoub for The Washington Post/Getty-file photo]

The interior ministry of the Hamas-led government in Gaza has accused the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority (PA) of sending security officers into northern Gaza under cover of protecting aid trucks. A PA official denied the accusations.

A senior Gaza interior ministry official told Hamas's Al-Aqsa TV that the force's mission was supervised by Majed Faraj, the PA's chief of intelligence.

It said six members of the force, who escorted aid trucks coming through the Rafah crossing with Egypt, were arrested and police forces were in pursuit to round up all other members.

"The suspicious security force that entered yesterday with Egyptian Crescent trucks coordinated its operations entirely with the [Israeli] occupation forces," the interior ministry official alleged, without providing further details.

However, the Palestinian Authority, which is led by the Fatah movement and based in Ramallah in the West Bank denied the accusations.

"The statement by the so-called Hamas interior ministry over the aid entry into [the] Gaza Strip is incorrect," a Palestinian Authority official in Ramallah said in a statement.

The official said the PA wasn't interested in an exchange of media comments that would divert attention from "the suffering of our people in Gaza Strip, and the killing, starvation, and displacement they are living through".

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The Gaza government statement posted by Al-Aqsa TV on its Telegram accounts said police officers and fighters of militant factions were instructed to treat any forces that entered Gaza without coordination with them as an "occupation force".

Hamas seized control in Gaza in 2007, a year after winning  Palestinian elections, following a brief conflict with PA forces, limiting the PA's rule to part of the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Efforts to reconcile the two sides have so far failed over thorny power-sharing issues.

Hamas leaders have said that any attempt to exclude the group from Gaza rule after the war ended was "delusional".

(Reuters and The New Arab Staff)