Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman accused Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas of trying to drag Israel into a confrontation with Hamas so it can retake control of Gaza.
“Abu Mazen knows that he is not capable of overthrowing the Hamas regime by force; he understands that Hamas will not transfer control over the Gaza Strip and therefore is trying to drag us into confrontation with Hamas in the Gaza Strip,” Liberman said Monday in an interview with Radio 101.5’s Mendy Rizel.
According to Liberman, Hamas is not prepared to reconcile with Fatah and to transfer control of the coastal enclave to Abbas and the Palestinian Authority.
“So we are the ones who will bring down Hamas and hand over power to them? Of course, this is not the first time [Abbas] has tried this strategy, and therefore here, too, one has to manage wisely and understand the whole picture,” he said.Hamas and the PA have been at odds since 2007 when the terror group took control of the Strip in a bloody coup. While there have been a number of reconciliation agreements between the two, all have failed.
On Sunday, Liberman accused Abbas of trying to sabotage a ceasefire deal between Israel and Hamas, telling the Kan national broadcaster that the Palestinian president “wants to damage the ties between us and the Gaza Strip. It is not our fight. They are trying to drag us into their internal Palestinian squabbles.”
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