A ceasefire agreement with Hamas could cost Israel its relationship with the Palestinian Authority, PA chief Mahmoud Abbas warned.
According to a report by the London-based Al-Hayat newspaper, senior PA officials said that Abbas has threatened to cut all contact with Israel, should the Jewish state reach a ceasefire agreement with the Hamas terrorist organization.
“Be happy with Hamas,” Abbas reportedly said sarcastically.
It is unclear whether the PA chief’s threat includes terminating security coordination between the IDF and the PA police force.
The PA leadership has repeatedly criticized the ceasefire talks between Israel and Hamas, which are currently being conducted by proxy through Egypt.
Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, has resisted efforts by the PA to reestablish full control over the coastal enclave. PA leaders have accused Hamas of using its ceasefire talks with Israel to establish itself as an independent power, stripping Ramallah of its prerogative to lead negotiations.
The PA officials quoted by the Al-Hayat report also claimed that Abbas’ staunch opposition to a Hamas-Israel ceasefire had thwarted – at least temporarily – the negotiations. The officials claimed that Egypt, which facilitated the indirect talks, is concerned by the internal rift between Hamas and the PA leadership in Ramallah, and has placed the Israel-Hamas negotiations on the backburner, focusing instead on reconciliation between Gaza and Ramallah.