'Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas is resorting to the oddest tactics, accusing Hamas of being directly funded by the Israeli premier after dissolving the Palestinian parliament.
In a speech in Ramallah Saturday, Abbas claimed that PM Benjamin Netanyahu was providing Hamas with the money with which it funded attacks against Israelis.
“Netanyahu personally takes money and gives it to Hamas. What does that mean? [Hamas] sends weapons, equipment and funds here,” Abbas claimed.
Israel has blamed Hamas for a recent increase in the West Bank attacks during which three Israelis, including two soldiers, were shot dead.
The attacks have reinforced the patriotic image of Hamas in the West Bank which is controlled by the Palestinian Authority.
A public opinion poll released on Tuesday showed that Abbas would lose to Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh if elections were held today.
The poll conducted by prominent pollster Khalil Shikaki showed that Haniyeh would win with 49 percent to Abbas’ 42 percent.
Abbas's term was meant to expire in 2009, but he has remained in office in the absence of elections.
Shikaki linked the results to what is perceived as a Hamas win in its latest confrontation with Israel and frustration with Abbas’s government.
The survey found that the majority of Palestinians (53 percent) have negative views about the Palestinian Authority and that 43 percent of them hold Abbas responsible for the deteriorating conditions in the Gaza Strip.
Abbas has sought to pressure Hamas in recent months by reducing salaries in the Gaza Strip, which is under an Israeli blockade, among other moves.'
Read more: Desperate Abbas making weird claims as Hamas popularity rises
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13 July 2019
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