Hamas terrorists in Gaza (file)
Hamas terrorists in Gaza (file)Reuters

The tension between Hamas and Fatah continued on Monday, with Hamas accusing Palestinian Authority Chairman and Fatah head Mahmoud Abbas of trying to sabotage a fragile reconciliation agreement.

According to AFP, Hamas’s accusation came after Abbas accused Hamas of running "a shadow government" in Gaza.

In a sharply worded attack on Hamas, Abbas on Saturday threatened to break off the unity agreement over the group's de facto control of Gaza.

But Abbas' words sparked an angry response from Hamas, with spokesman Fawzi Barhoum accusing him in turn of trying "to destroy the reconciliation and play into the hands of the Americans and the Israelis."

Hamas forcibly took over the Gaza Strip in 2007, ousting forces loyal to Abbas and sparking a bitter and bloody split with his Fatah movement.

The two rival factions formed a unity government several months ago but there have been multiple indications over the past several months that the union has been slowly crumbling.

Differences of opinion have surfaced over several issues, including the war in Gaza, reactions to the abduction and murder of three Israeli teenagers, and the delayed payment of wages for government workers in Gaza in the weeks leading up to Operation Protective Edge.

Last week, the deputy speaker of the Palestinian parliament, Ahmad Bahar, accused the national unity government and its prime minister Rami Hamdallah of "negligence" towards Gaza.

Speaking at a symposium held in Gaza City, Bahar urged the government to fulfill its duties in Gaza, particularly the reconstruction of buildings destroyed by Israeli forces and the payment of monthly salaries to civil servants who were employed by the former Hamas-run government.

"We still want the national consensus government and we will support it in its work especially the reconstruction of Gaza," he added, but called for the government to carry out its duties in return.