Abbas Accuses Israel of Funding Hamas in Gaza: 'Netanyahu Personally Transfers Money, West Bank Pays the Price'

Palestinian president says funds result in terror attacks in West Bank ■ Palestinians headed for elections within six months as constitutional court dissolves parliament

Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury
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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas speaking during a meeting with Palestinian leadership in Ramallah, December 22, 2018.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas speaking during a meeting with Palestinian leadership in Ramallah, December 22, 2018.Credit: \ MOHAMAD TOROKMAN/ REUTERS
Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas accused Israel Saturday of transferring funds to Hamas and Gaza, resulting in violent terror attacks orchestrated by the group and targeting the West Bank.

Speaking in the beginning of a meeting of the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah, Abbas claimed that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is transferring the money himself, "and we are paying the price."

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"Netanyahu personally transfers the money, and that is being translated into ammunition, equipment and funds being transferred to the West Bank. We know it and Israel knows it," Abbas said in his address.

Abbas also announced that elections will be held for the Palestinian Legislative Council within six months.

The Palestinian president made the statement after announcing that the Palestinian constitutional court dissolved the parliament.

Last year, the Palestinian Authority held local elections but they only took place within the West Bank.

Returning to the issue of money being directed toward the coastal enclave, Abbas lamented that while the PA manages to halt the passage of 90 percent of the funds that are being transferred to Hamas, "ten percent were executed and that has been translated into terror attacks in the West Bank, which Hamas have admitted to orchestrating."

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Referring to the failed U.S. resolution condeming Hamas in the UN, Abbas noted that he is opposed to defining Hamas as a terror organization because the group represents part of the Palestinian people.

However, since Hamas has not responded to his intiatives to reach a reconciliation and is pushing to establish a state in the Gaza Strip, the organization is serving countries such as the United States and Israel, Abbas charged.

"They are dragging their feet and acting to instill chaos in the West Bank. Therefore our stance is that either we take resposbility for everything or they should be responsible for everything in the Strip," the Palestinian president added.

Abbas also referred to the U.S. administration's peace plan, which is expected to be unveiled in the coming months. Abbas slammed U.S. President Donald Trump's plan, explaining that the principles presented by Washington so far could not possibly serve as a layout for a peace agreement.

"Whoever defines Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and wants to take the Palestinian refugee issue off of the negotiations table" can't construct a deal, Abbas said. "That's why we will keep telling the U.S. no and don't see this administration as such that could serve as a fair mediator."

The Palestinian president also said that he spoke Saturday evening with Saudi Arabia's King Salman and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and asked them to help him act against Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who had recently announced he recognized West Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

"I expect Arab and Islamic countries to at least express a theoretical stand if they can't take a practical stand because if we lose Jerusalem nothing will remain for the Palestinian national issue," Abbas said.

"If we remain silent about Jerusalem, it means we have lost it all."

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