Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas attends the meeting of the Palestinian Central Council, in Ramallah, in the West Bank August 15, 2018.
(photo credit: REUTERS/MOHAMAD TOROKMAN)
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Sisi persuaded PA President Mahmoud Abbas to accept a truce agreement between Israel and Hamas, Palestinian sources told the London-based Al-Hayat newspaper.
However, on Thursday, a senior PA official in Ramallah told The Jerusalem Post that he was unaware of any change in Abbas’s position towards the proposed truce between Israel and Hamas.
“President Abbas agreed with the Egyptian president that there was a need to alleviate the suffering of our people in the Gaza Strip,” the official said. “But President Abbas also emphasized that Hamas was not authorized to reach any agreement with any party on behalf of the Palestinians.”
Abbas and several senior PA officials have voiced strong opposition to a truce between Hamas and Israel, arguing that such a move would consolidate the split between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and might pave the way for the establishment of a separate Palestinian state in the Hamas-ruled coastal enclave.
According to the paper, Sisi briefed Abbas during their recent meeting in Sharm e-Sheikh on Egypt’s efforts to achieve “clam” in the Gaza Strip and end the ongoing dispute between Hamas and the ruling Fatah faction. The sources quoted Sisi telling Abbas that Egyptian efforts were aimed at giving “breathing space” to the residents of the Strip. Abbas, the sources said, agreed.
The “breathing space” mentioned consists of two phases – the first would last two to three weeks and the second six months.
It claimed that Israel has agreed to transfer and distribute a $90 million grant, through the UN, to pay salaries to Hamas employees for over a period of six months. Egyptian intelligence officials who recently met with Hamas leaders informed them of the decision. The money is expected to arrive in Gaza today or by next week, the sources claimed.
Furthermore, Israel has also agreed to increase exports from the Gaza Strip – including fruits, vegetables, furniture and clothes during the first phase of the “calm,” said the sources.
Sisi was reported to have told Abbas that after a truce agreement is reached between Hamas and Israel, Egypt will resume its efforts to end the Hamas-Fatah rift.
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