Abbas to keep control of PA funds

Erekat says Abbas will establish a presidential agency to monitor crossings.

abbas closeup 298 88 ap (photo credit: AP [file])
abbas closeup 298 88 ap
(photo credit: AP [file])
A senior PA advisor said Friday that PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas would retain control over hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of PA investments in order to prevent Hamas from gaining access to the funds, Israel Radio reported. The official spoke on condition of anonymity. Also on Friday, PA negotiator Saeb Erekat said that Abbas intended to establish a presidential agency, headed by Erekat, that would monitor the crossings between the PA and Israel. On Wednesday, PA Prime Minister-designate Ismail Haniyeh announced that he was planning to present his Hamas cabinet to the Palestinian Legislative Council on Saturday for a vote of confidence. The vote was expected to be presented after Tuesday's Knesset elections. The announcement came shortly after the PLO executive committee, a key-decision-making body, rejected the political platform of the new cabinet and called on the Islamic movement to change its policy. Hamas leaders dismissed the demand as "illegal." Some PA officials here expressed fear that the committee's decision would trigger a new crisis with Hamas. Azzam al-Ahmed, a Fatah legislator and member of the executive committee, warned that Hamas's program would lead to a political and constitutional crisis between the PA chairman and the new cabinet. "If Hamas insists on its position, we will soon face a severe crisis," he said. "Hamas's policy will isolate the Palestinians on the international arena."