PALES­TINIAN PRES­I­DENT PLANS ANTI- HA­MAS MEA­SURES AS SPLIT WIDENS

Manila Times - - World -

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.

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