Abbas accuses US, Israel of plotting to entrench Hamas control over Gaza

Abbas accuses US, Israel of plotting to entrench Hamas control over Gaza
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has accused Israel and the US of sidelining his administration in order to entrench Hamas' control over Gaza.
2 min read
11 November, 2018
Abbas accused the US of plotting a 'conspiracy' against the Palestinian Authority [NurPhoto]

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday angrily accused Israel and the United States of ganging up behind his back to entrench Hamas' control over Gaza.

The Palestinian Authority leader also accused Hamas of undermining his goal of establishing an independent Palestinian state that includes all of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

He said he feared that the US was preparing to float a peace plan, called the "Deal of the Century" by President Donald Trump, that would leave Hamas in control of Gaza and give him only limited autonomy in pieces of the West Bank.

"There is an American conspiracy, which is the 'Deal of the Century', and there is an Israeli conspiracy to implement the 'Deal of the Century', and to my dismay, there is another conspiracy from Hamas to foil the establishment of the independent (Palestinian) state," Abbas said at a ceremony on Sunday marking the 14th anniversary of the death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

"Therefore the (central) council decided to take decisive measures (against Hamas) in the coming days," he added.

At the end of October, Abbas made similar remarks in which he rebuked Hamas for allegedly "accepting the thoughts of the enemy, who plans to have a mini state in Gaza and autonomy in West Bank."

Hamas took control of Gaza from Abbas' forces in 2007 after success in elections, and reconciliation efforts have repeatedly failed.

The Palestinian president has repeatedly limited financial aid to Gaza in order to pressure Hamas into returning control to him.

Abbas cut off ties with the US after President Donald Trump recognised contested Jerusalem as Israel's capital last year, and has vowed to oppose any peace proposal by US President Donald Trump as PLO officials met to consider their next moves.

The US has also cut hundreds of millions of dollars in aid for Palestinians, with Trump angered by Abbas's refusal to meet with him or members of his administration.

Trump has called on Abbas to negotiate, but Palestinian leaders say they are being blackmailed to accept Trump's terms, which they see as blatantly biased in favour of Israel.