Abbas To Squeeze Gaza
By Micah Halpern
Sunday January 13, 2019
I've Been Thinking:
Israel is poised for national elections on April 9th. In political terms, that is a lifetime away. There is so much that can alter the election prognosis in these next three months.
Just think about the Palestinian issue and how that can impact the Israeli election.
PA leader Mahmoud Abbas is set to put the squeeze on Hamas. The Palestinian Authority dumps about $100 million per month into Gaza, most of it to cover electricity and salaries. Abbas wants to put a stop to that aid. He wants Gazans to suffer and come begging to him for help. Abbas has made comments indicating that if Gazans want to self govern, they must assume the responsibility of governing.
Abbas also plans on withdrawing PA officers at the borders. If that happens, it will it will effectively starve Gaza. Egypt negotiated that PA officers patrol the border with Egypt and Israel was happy with that deal. The PA was committed to keeping weapons out of Gaza. If they pull their patrols off the border, Israel will force the border to be closed.
Abbas, a staunch advocate of paying prisoners cum terrorists for their deeds, is going to stop paying Hamas prisoners. And he is going to stop paying Hamas employees.
Most significant of all is that Abbas is going to rescind the Palestinian Authority passports and travel documents of Hamas employees. That will effectively keep Hamas leadership stewing in Gaza.
Responding to press reports of Abbas' plans, senior Hamas official Bassem Naim seemed unfazed and said that there was nothing new here.
He said: "Any type of sanctions such as electricity, preventing medicine, closing the border or cutting the salaries are intended to blackmail residents into rising against Hamas and they fail ... This is the most that Abbas can do."
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