Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority (PA) government is on its way back to managing civilian affairs in the Gaza Strip. Hamas, meanwhile, says it will remain in control of security and will not lay down its weapons or dismantle its security forces and militias.
Abbas’s new partnership with Hamas — the product of Egyptian mediation efforts between the two parties — means that from this moment on, the Palestinian Authority president should now be held responsible for everything that takes place inside the Gaza Strip.
Abbas and his PA government should now be held accountable, among other things, for the fate of two Israeli civilians and the remains of IDF soldiers being held in the Gaza Strip by Hamas.
Abbas should also now be held responsible for any rockets that are fired from the Gaza Strip at Israel. Abbas cannot have it both ways. He cannot use the new partnership with Hamas to project himself as the legitimate president of all Palestinians, including those living in the Gaza Strip, but at the same time argue that he does not have “control on the ground.” He cannot have his prime minister and government managing the day-to-day affairs of the Gaza Strip while at the same time claim that he cannot do anything about Hamas’s security forces and militia.
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