Should the PA stop all payments to the Gaza Strip it would mark a complete break between the West Bank, which Abbas controls, and the coastal enclave, which is ruled by Hamas. Needless to say, such an ultimatum would significantly ramp up tensions between Abbas’s Fatah party and Hamas.
Hamas seized power in Gaza from the PA in a violent coup in 2007. Israel and Egypt then initiated a blockade officially geared toward preventing the terror group, avowedly committed to the destruction of Israel, from importing weaponry and materiel into Gaza.
While a PA threat to sever ties with Gaza might sound not sound like a major shift — the PA doesn’t exercise control of the coastal enclave – for Palestinians, the move would have dramatic and far-reaching implications.
First, it would constitute official recognition of the split between Gaza and the West Bank, a divide that over the past decade Fatah and Hamas refused to acknowledge. READ MORE