Abbas and Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh
Abbas and Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh Reuters

Ismail Radwan, a senior member of Hamas in Gaza, on Saturday attacked Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas over his meetings with the head of the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) and his security coordination with Israel.

Speaking at a conference held by the Hamas daily Al-Risala, Radwan said that Abbas’ statements were in complete contradiction to the decisions made by the PLO Central Council and National Council.

Radwan further said that the remarks reflect the contradiction in Abbas’ policy, which on the one hand speaks of a struggle against the Trump administration’s “deal of the century” and at the same time plays a central role in the US diplomatic initiative through continued security coordination and meetings with US intelligence officials.

Radwan noted that he did not see a serious approach on the part of Abbas or the Fatah movement regarding the reconciliation agreement with Hamas, stressing that all the Palestinian organizations agree that the economic sanctions imposed by the PA on Gaza should be lifted as a precondition for reconciliation.

Regarding a ceasefire with Israel, Radwan said that the purpose of the talks is to establish the ceasefire agreement reached in 2014 according to the Palestinian consensus and without any political payment.

He accused the PA of opposing the lull, saying it is interested in continuing the “siege” on Gaza in an attempt to subdue the Palestinian people in Gaza.

Abbas told a delegation of the leftist Peace Now organization that he was having conversations with the head of the Shin Bet, Nadav Argaman, and that he agreed with him on about 99 percent of the issues discussed.

The Islamic Jihad later criticized Abbas over the statement, saying the PA chairman should be ashamed and not boast about his security cooperation with Israel, and that he should immediately stop it in accordance with decisions made by Palestinian institutions.

Another report indicated that Abbas had revealed that a PA delegation of security and intelligence officials was in Washington, DC for talks with the CIA.

The visit took place despite ongoing tensions between the PA and the Trump administration over President Donald Trump’s stance on Jerusalem.

The PA decided to boycott the Trump administration after Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and relocated the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

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