Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has decided to turn the screw on Hamas that has kept Gaza out of his control for a decade, Nidal al-Mughrabi reports for Reuters. The PA on Thursday told Israel it would no longer pay for the electricity Israel supplies to Gaza.
Ostensibly, the reasons behind the decision were related to non-payment of bills and a shortage of foreign donor funds. But regaining a measure of control over Gaza could empower Abbas politically as Israel and the Palestinians await an expected push by U.S. President Trump for a revival of peace efforts.
Palestinian Prime Minister Rami al-Hamdallah said in Ramallah, “Hamas should relinquish control of Gaza.” Hamdallah said Hamas should accept an Abbas initiative to form a true unity government immediately. Hamas has, since its founding in 1987, advocated the destruction of Israel, seeking all of historic Palestine as its land, even if some of its leaders might accept a long-term truce.