Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is living in an illusion if he thinks that his rivals in Hamas would ever agree to lay down their weapons or cede control over the Gaza Strip.
Hamas has no intention of dismantling its military and security apparatus. It also does not have any intention of allowing Abbas’s security forces to be stationed in the Gaza Strip. This refusal is why the “reconciliation” deal that Abbas signed with Hamas in Cairo in October 2017 will never be translated into facts on the ground.
Hamas is prepared to give Abbas anything he wants in the Gaza Strip except for security control. Hamas has no problem allowing Abbas and his government to function as a “civil administration” in the Gaza Strip by providing funds and various services to government institutions there.
If Abbas wants to pay salaries to civil servants in the Gaza Strip, that is fine with Hamas. If he wants to pay for fuel, water and electricity supplies to the Gaza Strip, that is also fine with Hamas.
Security control, however, is the last thing Hamas wants from Abbas. For Hamas, security is a red line not to be crossed.