WASHINGTON – The senior adviser to the president of the Palestinian Authority says Hamas’ Gaza border protest is all about media martyrdom – sending civilians to die for propaganda purposes.

Mahmoud Al-Habbash, the senior adviser to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, is accusing Hamas of intentionally sending Palestinians in Gaza to “go and die,” for the sole purpose that Hamas will have stories of dead Palestinians to tell the media, according to a sermon translation conducted by Palestinian Media Watch.

Al-Habbash, who advises Abbas on Islamic affairs as a supreme Shariah judge, delivered a sermon Friday from the PA headquarters in Ramallah, in the presence of Mahmoud Abbas. He accused Hamas of deliberately encouraging civilians to endanger themselves: “You Palestinians, our people, go and die so that we’ll go to the TV and media with strong declarations.”

Al-Habbash claimed the Palestinian population is not being fooled by Hamas anymore, and “sides with the PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization).”

The Palestinian Authority (PLO) is in direct competition with Hamas for rulership of the Palestinian Arabs in Gaza and the West Bank territories of Judea and Samaria.

“The Palestinian people … doesn’t care about those [Hamas] with ‘the emotional stories of heroism,’ those with the slogans of heroism – slogans that when you hear them, you think that the people saying them are inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque after they liberated it,” said Al-Habbash. “And afterwards you discover that they’re only selling illusions, trading in suffering and blood, trading in victims, [saying]: ‘You Palestinians, our people, go and die so that we’ll go to the TV and media with strong declarations.’ These [Hamas] acts of ‘heroism’ don’t fool anyone anymore. The Palestinian people … side with the PLO.”

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While Abbas’ adviser was criticizing Hamas for sending Palestinians to their death, Abbas’ Fatah Movement celebrated the participation of an infant in the Gaza demonstrations. Fatah posted a photo of a 6-month-old baby who had been placed on a pile of tires. The tires would eventually be burned at the Gaza demonstrations. The posted text on the Fatah Facebook page read: “A child no older than 6 months was among the participants in the demonstrations today (Friday, April 6, 2018) and in the March of Return events on the eastern border of the Gaza Strip.”

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