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Abbas threatens Gaza at America's request, claims Hamas

Image of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, West Bank on February 13, 2017 [Issam Rimawi /Anadolu Agency]
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, West Bank on 13 February 2017 [Issam Rimawi /Anadolu Agency]

The threats made against Gaza by the Palestinian Authority and Fatah President Mahmoud Abbas are in "response to requests by America," a senior Hamas official has claimed. According to Palinfo.com, the Deputy Leader of the movement, Mousa Abu Marzook said that Abbas had to make such threats ahead of his visit to the White House. "This is regarded as his part in fighting 'terrorism'," he added.

The PA has cut the salaries of staff in the Gaza Strip, noted Abu Marzook, but he rejected the reasoning behind the move. "Cuts due to the budget deficit must surely affect employees in both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank," he insisted. "The PA knows very well that its payment to Gaza is declining continuously due to the halt of new recruitment since the start of the [political] division." He pointed out that only 18 per cent of the PA's budget goes to the Gaza Strip in any case.

Read: Abbas faces attacks over Gaza salary cuts

When asked about the administrative committee in Gaza, the Hamas official explained that it is not new, although its members have changed. "The committee has been in place since the time when the National Unity Government based in the West Bank gave up its responsibilities in Gaza."

Hamas, said Abu Marzook, is not planning to take countermeasures against Abbas. "Our battle is not with Abbas, but with the Zionist enemy."

In closing, he confirmed that the internal Hamas elections have been completed except the nominations for the head and members of the political bureau. "These will be finished and announced soon."

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