Hamas’ refusal to give up control of Gaza is “accepting the thoughts of the enemy,” Abbas charged.
By World Israel News and AP
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas accused his Hamas rivals of serving American interests by refusing to relinquish control of the Gaza Strip and, by doing so, boosting the U.S. peace plan.
Abbas fears that Washington is planning a proposal that would offer the Palestinians limited statehood in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip and some autonomy in parts of Judea and Samaria. The PA leader demands full independence and control of both territories.
In a speech Monday, Abbas said that Hamas’ refusal to give up control of Gaza is “accepting the thoughts of the enemy, who plans to have a mini state in Gaza and autonomy in West Bank.”
Hamas violently seized control of Gaza from Abbas’ forces in 2007. Reconciliation efforts have repeatedly failed.
Abbas wants to take control of Gaza. He has resorted to punishing Hamas by withholding salaries of civil servants and blocking humanitarian and other aid from reaching the Strip. The PA will vote at the end of the month on whether or not to impose further sanctions and on disbanding the Hamas-controlled Palestinian Legislative Council, the unicameral legislature of the PA.
The Palestinians have rejected any notion of a US-brokered diplomatic solution. They have boycotted Washington since December, when President Donald Trump announced official U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and have escalated their rhetoric and actions against the U.S.
‘Most dangerous phase’ for Palestinians
Speaking on Sunday during the 30th Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Central Council session held in Ramallah, Abbas stated that “the phase we are going through may be the most dangerous phase that the Palestinian people have ever experienced,” stressing that “we are facing a historical moment; either to be or not to be.”
“We are embarking on very difficult and important decisions,” he said.
He called on the Palestinian people to unite behind the PLO, which he said was the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.
Abbas stressed that the Palestinians and Jerusalem “are not for sale or bargaining,” rejecting the establishment of a Palestinian state with temporary borders.
Abbas reiterated his rejection of the Trump administration’s peace efforts, saying that “if the Balfour declaration has passed, the Deal of the Century will not pass.”
The Balfour Declaration, passed 100 years ago, was written by UK Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour to the 2nd Baron Rothschild, Lionel Walter Rothschild, the leader of the British Jewish community at the time. It stated the British government would “view with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.” The declaration is considered to be the first documented legitimization of the State of Israel.