Abbas threatens to end unity government with Hamas
Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas - AFP/Khaled Desouki

CAIRO: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has threatened to end the Palestinian unity government with Hamas, saying the unity government cannot operate in Gaza due to the alleged interference of some Hamas members, Palestinian news agency WAFA reported Sunday.

“We will not accept any partnership with Hamas if the situation in Gaza continues in this way; there is a shadow government of 27 ministerial deputies running the city. The national reconciliation government cannot do anything on the ground,” Abbas said during a meeting with Egyptian media and political figures in Cairo where he paid a 3-day visit.

Hamas and Fatah reached reconciliation and agreed on a unity government in April, but differences have reemerged between the two after the announcement of a month-long cease-fire agreement, brokered by Egypt, on Aug. 26 following the latest 2-month Israel-Gaza war.

Hamas political bureau member Moussa Abu Marzouk called Sunday for the formation of a new government, as the current government “failed to solve domestic issues,” Hamas-affiliated website reported.

In Cairo, Abbas also reviewed the human and financial casualties of the last war with Israel; 2,149 Palestinians were killed in the conflict, including 942 children, women and elderly, while 11,166 others were injured, including 5,802 children, women and elderly. He noted that 91 whole families were killed entirely, and that 18,000 houses were completely destroyed and 41,000 houses partially ruined.

Economically, Abbas said Palestine needs $7 billion to rebuild what had been destroyed over the next 15 years.

Abbas arrived in Cairo Saturday to meet with his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fatah al-Sisi to discuss the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and indirect talks with Israel over reaching a permanent cease-fire agreement between both sides.

Abbas headed a delegation including top Palestinian negotiator Saeb Orayqat and Fatah officials to attend the 142nd foreign ministers meeting of the Cairo-based Arab League Sunday.

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