Hamas: PA making it difficult to foil 'Deal of the Century'

Hamas accuses Palestinian Authority of harming national interest.

Dalit Halevi ,

Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas
Flash 90

Hamas on Monday accused the Palestinian Authority (PA) of harming the interests of the Palestinian people and its ability to act against the political plans of the American administration.

Fawzi Barhoum, a Hamas spokesman, said that the PA’s resistance to ending the punitive measures against Gaza "weakens the foundations of the Palestinian people's steadfastness” in dealing with the American “Deal of the Century” which, he claimed, is meant to “eliminate the Palestinian problem.”

"Any step that will bring about the lifting of the siege on Gaza and meet the aspirations of the residents of Gaza without paying a political price will be welcome," he said.

In April of 2017, PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas announced a series of economic punitive measures against the Gaza Strip in an attempt to force Hamas to cancel the executive committee of the Gaza Strip, which acted as a sort of local government and to soften its position on the reconciliation talks.

The punitive measures included a 30 percent cut in the salaries of public sector employees, a cut in the budget for electricity supplies, the transfer of patients to treatment outside the Gaza Strip and the forcing of more than 20,000 workers into early retirement.

Fatah and Hamas later signed a reconciliation deal, under which the PA was to have resumed full control of Gaza by December 1.

That deadline was initially put back by 10 days and had later reportedly hit “obstacles”.

Hamas is trying to incite the Palestinian public residing in PA-assigned areas of Judea and Samaria against the Palestinian Authority by exploiting the so-called “March of the Return” processions and protests against the punitive measures. It appears as though Hamas' real goal is to undermine the PA's authority and pave the way for Hamas's takeover of PA institutions in Judea and Samaria, similar to the way it took over Gaza in the summer of 2007.