Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat vowed Saturday that the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) would never let the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) to take control of the West Bank as it did in Gaza.
Erekat made the remarks in response to Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahhar's Friday speech at a rally in northern Gaza that if Israel withdraws "from the occupied West Bank, Hamas would immediately take control of the territory."
"The statements of al-Zahhar are the only Israeli weapon directed to our hearts," Erekat told the "Voice of Palestine" radio, adding "such statements are helping Israel to make it more difficult in the negotiations we hold with Israel."
In mid June, following several weeks of bloody infighting between rival Hamas and Fatah movements, Hamas defeated President Mahmoud Abbas' security forces and his Fatah militias in the Gaza Strip and took over it since then.
"Israel is positively using Hamas coup in Gaza and its leaders' threats to conquer the West Bank, and it tries to put obstacles before the peace negotiations and the peace process," said Erekat.
He added that "what Hamas did in the Gaza Strip had manifested the old Israel dream to isolate the Gaza Strip from the rest of the occupied Palestinians territories."