Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas Hadas Porush, Flash 90

The conflict between Fatah-associated Palestinian Authority leaders in Ramallah and Hamas leadership in Gaza continues to escalate.

On Saturday, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas signed an order exempting residents of Gaza from paying taxes.

The purpose of this order was to put pressure on Hamas leadership, who need the money received from local residents.

Following Abbas' order, Hamas Treasurer Youssuf Al-Kieli announced that Abbas' order was illegal and therefore would not be implemented.

According to Al-Kieli, these types of orders, when signed by Abbas, must first be approved by the Palestinian Legislative Committee. The current order did not receive such approval and is therefore invalid.

Al-Kieli also said that the order was unfair to Gaza, and is simply part of Abbas' efforts to prevent funding from reaching Gazan leadership.

According to the PA, Hamas collects taxes from Gaza citizens but uses the money for its own needs.

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