Abbas threatens to end Gaza reconciliation with Hamas

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By Middle East Affairs

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday threatened to end reconciliation efforts with Hamas after blaming them for an assassination attempt against a Palestinian prime minister, Reuters reports.

Military group Hamas and Abbas’s Fatah faction have experienced escalated tension since a roadside bomb went off on the convoy of Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and Palestinian security chief Majid Faraj’s on March 13 during their visit to Gaza. Neither man was injured.

“We congratulate the two big brothers (Hamdallah and Faraj) that they are safe after the sinful and despicable attack that was carried out against them by the Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip,” Abbas said in a speech.

Reuters said Abbas did not provide any evidence to show that Hamas was responsible but said that he didn’t trust the group to conduct an honest investigation.

“We do not want investigation from them, we do not want information from them and we do not want anything from them because we know exactly that they, the Hamas movement, are the ones who committed this incident,” he said.

Abbas was giving a speech at a Palestinian leadership summit in the Ramallah in West Bank. According to Reuters, he warned Hamas that it needed to give up control of Gaza or risk having full responsibility for its two million residents without any help from the Palestinian Authority.

He said he would take the necessary “national, legal and financial measures,” though Reuters said he did not provide any details.

“In my capacity as the president of the Palestinian people I have tolerated much in order to regain unity and unite the homeland and I was met with rejection by Hamas and their illegitimate authority,” he said.

For years Fatah and Hamas have tried to negotiate the Gaza Strip and how it should be run, but have repeatedly dropped their ends of the bargain.

 

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