PA to Take Action against Hamas after Reconciliation Fails

Mahmoud Abbas speaking at a meeting in Ramallah. (Photo: Usama Falah, Wafa Images)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is believed to be preparing to cut all funding to the Gaza Strip in an effort to end the power struggle between his Fatah movement and rival faction Hamas after reconciliation efforts failed, anonymous sources in Ramallah have revealed.

According to Asharq Al-Awsat, Fatah officials have rejected Hamas’s demands to retain security control over the Gaza Strip and collect taxes there, along with a deal that would see the government absorb tens of thousands of Hamas employees.

Ramallah officials were quoted as saying:

“President Abbas is about to take a decision to halt all [PA] funding to the Gaza Strip. He believes that all opportunities have been exhausted, and it is no longer possible to keep the situation in the Gaza Strip as it is.”

Earlier this week, a senior Fatah delegation met with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and intelligence officials in Cairo to discuss the ongoing tensions between the PA and Hamas. Egypt has attempted to broker a reconciliation deal between the two factions but has so far failed to reach an agreement.

Talks between the Palestinian factions have stalled in recent months. Although Fatah and Hamas signed an agreement in Cairo last year in an attempt to advance reconciliation efforts and restore the PA’s governing authority in Gaza, they failed to make progress in the aftermath of US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Relations got worse following the attempted assassination of PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah during a trip to Gaza in March for which the PA blamed Hamas; the resistance movement denied the allegation. The three men identified by Hamas as suspects involved in the bombing were later killed in a shootout with its forces in Gaza on March 22.

In recent weeks, the PA has condemned Hamas for conducting indirect talks with Israel on reaching a new truce agreement in the Gaza Strip, arguing that only the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) has the authority to negotiate with Israel as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.

The PA has threatened to sever security cooperation with Israel if the blockade on the Gaza Strip is lifted. It is seeking to exploit the situation to put pressure on Hamas into handing over control of the coastal territory.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

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