PALESTINIAN PRESIDENT PLANS ANTI- HAMAS MEASURES AS SPLIT WIDENS
RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territories: The decade-long Palestinian split looks set to deepen in the coming months, with President Mahmud Abbas poised to take multiple measures against Gaza to squeeze its Islamist rulers Hamas. The moves raise concerns of more suffering for Gaza’s two million residents, already under an Israeli blockade and facing severe electricity shortages, while a cornered Hamas could renew violence against Israel. Analysts say the measures will also widen the gap between Hamas-run Gaza and the occupied West Bank, where Abbas’s government has limited self-rule. Hamas and Abbas’s secular Fatah party have been at loggerheads since the Islamists seized control of Gaza from Abbas’s forces in a near civil war in 2007, a year after sweepinging parliamentary elections. Hamas has since fought three bloody wars with Israel and fears of a fourth remain.