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Abbas has joined the siege of Gaza, but with what objectives and results?

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas speaks during a Revolutionary Council Meeting of Fatah Movement in Ramallah, West Bank on 25 May, 2017 [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas speaks during a Revolutionary Council Meeting of Fatah Movement in Ramallah, West Bank on 25 May 2017 [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]

Ever since Hamas won the Palestinian parliamentary elections on 25 January 2006, discussions have been held between Israel and the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah. The related offensives against Hamas and the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are desperate attempts to eliminate the resistance and their determination to restore their inalienable national rights. Mahmoud Abbas is complicit in all of this.

Abbas's latest measures — in the form of cutting payments to ex-prisoners and the families of martyrs, the wounded and PA employees in Ramallah and Gaza, whose allowances were reduced by between 30 and 50 per cent — indicate that he is considering other dangerous escalatory steps. The PA president has suggested this before and the indications are that there are US-Israeli-Abbas understandings on an intention to declare the Gaza Strip to be a "rogue territory" and to incite a number of Arab regimes to take military action against it.

Riyad Mansour, the Permanent Representative of Palestine to the UN [File photo]

Riyad Mansour, the Permanent Representative of Palestine to the UN [File photo]

A decade ago, Riyad Mansour, the Permanent Representative of Palestine to the UN in New York, spoke about this without shame. Furthermore, in a well-known statement, Abbas called for the Arab coalition currently operating in Yemen against the Houthis to send some of its units to "liberate" the Gaza Strip from the resistance factions.

It is clear that Abbas has joined the Riyadh summit bloc, which has said openly that its next war will be combatting the terrorism represented by the Islamic Republic of Iran, which was described as the international hotbed of crime in the region. A number of heads of state and foreign ministers who participated in the summit also described Hamas as a terrorist organisation, in a clear expression of their intentions and what could happen in the future.


It is an established fact that Abbas is involved in systematic security coordination with the Israeli occupation. The manifestations of this collaboration are visible to anyone who looks into the PA's arrest of intifada activists and their handing over to the occupation authorities. The number of Palestinian detainees and prisoners has jumped from 5,000 to 7,500 since the Jerusalem Intifada started in September 2015. There are an average of 20 arrests a day, reflecting the feverish crossover of functions between the PA security forces and the Israeli army in occupied Palestine.

Jason Greenblatt, the chief legal officer to Donald Trump, accompanied by the US president's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, are due in Tel Aviv this week to negotiate with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Abbas. On the agenda is coordination of the positions of the three allies to confront what they call terrorism. This includes, of course, the Palestinian people's heroic resistance to Israel's brutal military occupation. The Palestinians have given the resistance their complete confidence and they join it in order to defend their future, sanctities and national constants.

Abbas — who is also the head of the Islamic Resistance Movement's main rival, Fatah — has fulfilled his function of protecting Israel's interests since the ill-fated Oslo Accords were engineered in 1993. He is the one who has asked Netanyahu to cut the electricity supply to the Gaza Strip completely, reducing by 8 megawatts the amount of power reaching the territory. This was then cut by 12 more megawatts, which leaves only one or two hours of electricity per day for Gaza's 2 million people.

Read: Israel begins reducing Gaza electricity supply

Abbas remains silent about Israel's settlement programme and Judaisation across the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem. He hasn't said much either about the desecration of Al-Aqsa Mosque and the attempts by Jewish settlers and their government to impose a temporal and spatial division therein.

There is no doubt that whatever is coming next is greater and more dangerous. This requires careful and connected activity to form a united national front to confront the challenges ahead, as suggested by Dr Khalil Al-Hayya, a member of the Hamas political bureau. He noted that Abbas is the main obstacle to any national reconciliation.

The repercussions of the Gulf crisis represented by the boycott of Qatar is a major factor in understanding what this sinful evil coalition is doing in the Gulf and against the resistance movements in Palestine and Lebanon, as well as the escalations in Syria and Iraq. The heroic resistance has been victorious over the past decade and has accumulated strength that should not be underestimated. The Israel Defence Forces' deterrent factor has taken a beating and this has created a little bit of balance, which will bear its promised fruit soon. Wars are always battles of wills in which oppressed nations have proven throughout history that victory is their ultimate ally, God willing.

Translated from Felesteen, 20 June 2017

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

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