Hamas leaders vowed not to bend to Abbas’ demand to cease control of at least part of Gaza to the Palestinian Authority.
Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) said that Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is threatening to take “unprecedented measures” financially against the Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip, so long as the terrorist organization refuses to cede control of at least part of Gaza to the PA.
The Hamas leadership, however, refuses to give in to Abbas’ demands.
“Abbas will fail if he tries to make Gaza kneel or expects to win our loyalty by force,” Khalil al-Haya, the second highest ranking Hamas leader, told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
“Gaza is an explosive barrel and (Abbas) cannot press this barrel more,” al-Haya continued. “If he does, it’s going to explode in his face and in all directions. You can’t punish the one who lives in tough conditions.”
Al-Haya made his remarks as Abbas met with senior Fatah officials on the possibility of reducing wages and subsidies to Gaza.
Abbas has already reduced by one-third the salaries of tens of thousands of individuals who were PA employees in Gaza before the ousting of the PA from Gaza and the subsequent establishment of the Hamas government in 2007. The PA chairman’s renewed push to regain a foothold in Gaza comes ahead of his meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House next week. Abbas is under pressure to show that he represents all Palestinians, including those in Gaza.
Turkey and Qatar stepped up and provided millions of dollars and liters of fuel to Gaza’s power plant after another energy crisis in January of this year. It remains to be seen if both countries and others in the international community will fill the current void.
By: World Israel News Staff and AP