Hamas reiterates rejection of ‘constitutional court’

Hamas reiterates rejection of ‘constitutional court’

Proposed court aims to undermine Hamas-dominated Palestinian Legislative Council, leading Hamas member asserts

By Nour Abu Aysha

GAZA CITY, Palestine (AA) – A leading Hamas member has said that an earlier decision by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to establish a "constitutional court" was aimed at undermining the Hamas-dominated Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC).

At a political symposium organized by the Hamas-led Change and Reform political bloc, Mahmoud al-Zahar, a member of the movement’s political bureau, reaffirmed Hamas’ rejection of the proposed court.

"The main aim behind establishing this court is to have the PLC dissolved so as to give Abbas’ presidential decrees supreme authority," al-Zahar said.

He suggested that the court would be used to retroactively annul laws adopted by the PLC since 2006 -- when Hamas swept Palestinian legislative elections -- on the pretext that they were "unconstitutional".

Al-Zahar went on to call on Abbas to request the approval of all Palestinian factions before the court is established, in line with Palestinian Basic Law.

Abbas caused a stir on April 3 when he abruptly issued a decision to establish a Palestinian constitutional court.

Hamas, for its part, says the court will be dominated by members of Abbas' Fatah movement -- with which Hamas has been at odds since 2007 -- and has criticized the Palestinian president for issuing "unilateral" decisions without consulting other Palestinian parties.

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