Hamas-PA Unity Already on Shaky Ground as Abbas Mantains Gaza Sanctions

“He who loves transgression loves strife.” Proverbs 17:19 (The Israel Bible™)

Despite a reconciliation deal signed last week between rival Palestinian factions, the Palestinian terror group Hamas slammed Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas, who heads the Fatah party, for not yet lifting crippling sanctions on the Gaza Strip.

“The failure of [Palestinian] Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to respond affirmatively to the popular and national demands to cancel his arbitrary measures against our people in Gaza is unjustifiable and a clear denial of the demands of reconciliation,” Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum tweeted Monday. “He must bear responsibility for exacerbating the people’s suffering and crises.”

As part of the unity deal signed last week, the PA promised to lift sanctions imposed on the Hamas-ruled Gaza over the past year in exchange for the restoration of a PA-controlled government in Gaza by December 1.

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In a statement, Fatah spokesman Osama Qawasmeh said sanctions would likely only be lifted once the PA allowed Gaza back in power.

“We agreed with Hamas in Cairo to enable the government to work. We need to make sure this is achieved,” Qawasmeh said, the Jerusalem Post reported. “The government will be going to Gaza this week to evaluate the situation. Thereafter, it will send a report to the President [Abbas], who will make the appropriate decision.”

There also remains several outstanding questions over the reconciliation deal, including the future of Hamas’s armed wing comprised of some 25,000 fighters.