Daily Israel Report

Minister Accuses Abbas of 'Bluffing' on Threats

Transportation Minister says Abbas's threats are a response to failing talks - and, like talks, will be all words and no action.
By Hezki Ezra and Tova Dvorin
First Publish: 4/22/2014, 10:30 AM

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas
Flash 90

Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) dismissed threats from Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to disband the PA and unite with Hamas against Israel. 

"Now for the moment of truth: it is obvious that Abbas is bluffing again," Katz wrote in a Facebook post Tuesday morning. "He was not ready to make concessions, so he ran to the United Nations and ran to hug Hamas. The peace talks actually ended in nothing and it is time to unite and stand together against potential pressures."

The Minister also called on Israel to take more unilateral steps against the PA, beginning with halting the possibility of communications between Hamas and Fatah. 

"The first step: the decision to revoke the section which speaks of the right to 'safe passage' between Gaza and Judea-Samaria," he said. "This means [transporting them over] sovereign Israeli territory - and we do not owe them anything." 

Katz also addressed concerns that the PA will, in fact, disband. 

"When it comes to the PA disbanding, the move would nullify the Oslo Accords," he clarified. "[PA Official Jibril] Rajoub will have the same legal status as [arch-terrorist Marwan] Barghouti, and every contact MK Ahmed Tibi has with Abbas will be considered fraternizing with the enemy."

"We have a fine country, we are right and we will win," he emphasized. 

Abbas threatened to disband the PA Sunday, in a last-ditch effort to deal a low blow to Israel by allegedly making it vulnerable to international legislation. To that end, PA representatives and Hamas officials met on Tuesday to discuss the options for a new unity pact. 

Analysts say the threats, which have been dismissed by Israeli officials and experts, could have worse consequences for the PA itself. As it stands, the US has already threatened to revoke or diminish funding and political support for the Palestinian Arabs in the event Abbas follows through.