Hamas leader calls for forming new body to replace PLO

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A senior Islamic Hamas movement leader on Monday called for forming a new body to replace Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) which is chaired by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Mahmoud al-Zahar, Hamas strongman in Gaza, made his call during his participation in a workshop organized by organized Hamas in Gaza to debate initiatives aimed at ending the current freeze in the Palestinian situation.

"The Palestinian factions are urged to form a new organization instead of the PLO that adopts the choice of armed resistance against the Israeli occupation," al-Zahar told the participants in the workshop.

He reminded that "the PLO recognition of the Israeli occupation 20 years ago was the biggest disaster that happened to the Palestinian people."

Al-Zahar said that his movement is a major foe to President Abbas Fatah Party and doubts that Abbas Fatah Party will dare to annul Oslo peace accords signed between the PLO and the Israeli occupation in 1993.

"I believe that it is impossible for Fatah to quit Oslo because its security apparatuses are living and counting on the security cooperation with the Israeli occupation," said al-Zahar.

He noted that "if Fatah and the PLO wouldn't be able to annul Oslo, we should look for an alternative and form a new body that adopts the armed resistance against the Israeli occupation."

Hamas violently seized control of the Gaza Strip in 2007 following weeks of internal fighting with Abbas security forces. Hamas won the parliamentary elections held in the Palestinian territories in 2006. Endit

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