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Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas speaks during a news conference following the extraordinary meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul, Turkey.(Photo by: REUTERS/OSMAN ORSAL)
Abbas's ultimatum to Hamas: ‘Four weeks to hand over Gaza’
By HADAS LABRISCH
10/05/2018
Abbas is reportedly threatening cessation of all funds to the Strip if Hamas refuses.
In talks between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas gave Hamas an ultimatum – give the PA full control of the Gaza Strip by the end of the month, or suffer the consequences, according to a statement made by an official in the PA presidency bureau to Kan news on Thursday night.

Hamas leadership and senior Palestinian Authority officials concluded a round of talks in Cairo with little results, Israeli media reported Thursday night.

Abbas is reportedly threatening cessation of all funds to the Strip if Hamas refuses.

“Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas, President of the PA] is trying to deteriorate the situation in Gaza,” MK Yuval Steinitz commented on Army Radio.

Last week, Hamas official Mahmoud al-Zahar claimed that Abbas is planning on taking severe measures against the organization, such as stopping the transfer of salaries to Hamas clerks – a longtime issue and well known ultimatum card between the Palestinian leader and Hamas.

The two factions have been attempting to reach reconciliation and understandings for several years, more adamantly so with the mediation of Egypt over recent months. Hamas is currently accusing the PA of leading Gaza towards conflict and further sabotaging the ties, and is asking Egypt to pressure Abbas to agree to reconciliation, Israeli media reported Friday.

“A new war is not in the interest of anyone,” Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar told an Italian journalist earlier this week.

Tensions are high along the Gaza border, where demonstrators continue to conduct violent protests that include throwing rocks and projectiles at IDF soldiers.

The Defense Ministry ordered IDF troops to send reinforcements to the region on Thursday, in preparation for a possible escalation.

Maariv online contributed to this report.

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