Abbas’s speech contained an explicit threat to “remove all responsibility” from Gaza if Hamas does not agree to reach aa deal with the Palestinian Authority. In other words, he intends to stop transferring PA funds to Gaza in the near future.
Hamas is encouraging the protests against Abbas, but it also understands that Gaza residents’ frustration and bitterness is not reserved only for the PA or Israel. Blame is also being directed its way. Military escalation could serve to channel public fury towards Israel instead.
Meanwhile Abbas’s disconnect with Israel and the US continues. Even if for a moment Trump’s statements on Wednesday in support of the two-state solution rekindled international discourse on the issue, the US president’s halfhearted endorsement is not likely to effect much change in relations with the Palestinians.
And so Abbas, advancing in age and not looking his best at the UN, is planning moves that will cause major headaches for Israel in Gaza. He may have repeated in his address that he does not want violence or armed struggle in the West Bank, but it seems he would not mind seeing Hamas and Israel clash for the umpteenth time to the south.
The US is “too biased towards Israel” in order to act alone as a fair mediator between the Palestinians and Israel, Abbas said, but indicated he could be open to others stepping in to broker talks and said the US could play a role as a member of the Middle East peace Quartet.