As Palestinian leaders fight over Gaza, Israel worries Hamas will go to war
GAZA – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is carrying out a high-risk campaign in Gaza to force his own people to forcibly force Hamas Islamist militant movement to cede control of the isolated coastal enclave.
The head of the 82-year-old Palestinian Authority, which runs the West Bank, has little margin for Gaza, has reduced its employees’ salaries in the sea, prevented medical patients from leaving and, in their far more dramatic, Payments for electricity supplied to Gaza by Israel.
Israel fears that Hamas will fire with a rocket, and the World Bank is concerned that the band collapsed. The United Nations said on Tuesday that ten years of Hamas war, Palestinian fights and blockades that paralyze Israel and Egypt have made the daily lives of people in Gaza “increasingly unhappy.”
But Abbas said he was ready to go further, threatening to impose sanctions on Hamas and freeze funds from its leaders “if they continue to govern Gaza and use the money of the Palestinian people to build their power,” according to an interview given to Asharq Al-Awsat.
Hamas has never been isolated. Egypt has banned the Muslim Brothers, the progenitor of Hamas. Turkey, which has lavished attention on Gaza, has restored relations with Israel.
And the worst of Hamas, Qatar suffers oil-rich embargo, accused by its neighbors, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, of supporting terrorism. Qatar supports Gaza for years.
Abbas’s harsh tactics are unprecedented in the decade spread between leaders in Gaza and the West Bank. The widening gap appears as President Trump prevents Israel and the Palestinians from returning to peace talks. Trump envoy, Middle East, Jason Greenblatt, returned to Jerusalem on Monday night.
[The short bad Gaza Strip the test of power. This time it is not Israel’s fault.]
Abbas favors talks with Israel if they lead to an independent Palestinian state. Hamas has never recognized Israel and has rejected the talks. Because of the split, Israeli leaders have questioned whether Abbas represents all Palestinians.
Ghazi Hamad, Hamas serving as foreign minister, in fact, to The Washington Post that Abbas could not force Hamas to back down.
“After 10 years, he uses the stick and the carrot does not cut the electricity, it cuts the wages, why?” This is what people ask, “said Mr. Hamad.
He said that Hamas has survived selective killings by Israel, three wars and 10 years of blockade. “We have not done it yet, and we will not give up,” Hamad said. “Does Abbas want Hamas to cry and ask for help?”
But in the streets of Gaza, people feel secure enough – or rather frustrated – to curse Hamas and Abbas, saying that the two do not care about their suffering.