Published: 2017-07-09 19:36
Last Updated: 2017-07-09 20:10
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has threatened to impose financial sanctions on Hamas in the Gaza Strip after the dispute between the two sides escalated this week.
Hamas - which assumed control over Gaza ten years ago - said on Sunday that the Palestinian Authority (PA) has cut 37 MPs’ pay from the Palestinian Legislative Council.
“We will not punish our people in the Gaza Strip, but Hamas leaders in Gaza should know that we may resort to immediate financial sanctions if they insist on a coup against the institutions of the Palestinian State in Ramallah and contribute to the division of the people Palestinian conflict into cantons and small, fragmented and rebellious entities,” Abbas warned in an interview with Asharq al-Awsat newspaper.
Abbas’s threat comes after Hamas recently tightened its ties with Egypt, after years of friction, and former Fatah leader Mohammed Dahlan.
Last month, Egypt sent fuel tankers to the Gaza Strip to ease its fuel crisis. Gaza’s two million residents were living on less than three hours of electricity per day.
However, on Saturday, fuel purchased from Egypt was reduced by up to 50 percent, with Gaza’s power authority claiming that the PA froze all bank transfers to Egypt, leaving them with no source of financing the fuel used to operate Gaza’s solar power plant.