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Abbas does not want reconciliation with Hamas, claims senior Fatah official

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas delivers a speech on the second day of the 7th General Assembly meeting of Fatah Movement at Palestinian Prime Ministry office Mukataa in West Bank on November 30 2016 [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas delivers a speech at the Palestinian Prime Ministry office Mukataa in West Bank on 30 November 2016 [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]

A senior Fatah member and former Palestinian Authority Justice Minister claimed on Wednesday that PA President Mahmoud Abbas does not really want reconciliation with Hamas. According to Fraih Abu Middain, the PA leader told him that, "Hamas has to understand that it must give up everything, including the government, control, money and weapons if it wants a reconciliation."

When asked about the salary cuts for PA employees in the Gaza Strip, Abbas apparently replied, "I will not cancel the punitive measures and will not offer any initiatives until under the aforementioned conditions [have been met]." The PA President pointed to a ring on his finger, explained Abu Middain, and said, "Gaza must be in my hand like this ring on my finger, otherwise I will not go for a reconciliation."

He said that Abbas will continue with his punitive measures against Gaza and that this is all part of the same manoeuvres started by US President Donald Trump, who took Jerusalem off the negotiation table.

"All the others are waiting for Gaza, which is bearing the burden of resistance, to surrender," he added.

Abbas is said to be afraid of the consequences if Hamas comes to an understanding with the former Fatah official Mohamed Dahlan.

Read: Fearing backlash, Fatah postpones visit to Gaza

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