Analysis: Abbas’s shortsighted Gaza policy

Palestinian Authority (PA) leader Mahmoud Abbas’s efforts to increase Hamas’s isolation — by cutting salaries and then electricity to the Gaza Strip — mirror regional dynamics in the age of Trump. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt have all mobilized to isolate Qatar, a major investor in the Gaza Strip and a supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and Hamas in Gaza.Gaza’s electricity crisis was averted, in an ironic twist, by Egyptian President Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi’s willingness to provide fuel to Gaza’s power plant as a stopgap measure despite Abbas’s protests. The decision was mediated by Muhammad Dahlan, historically Hamas’s nemesis, not least because of his attempt to remove Hamas from power in the wake of its democratic election.Abbas’s misguided strategyAbbas remains committed to the premise of the Gaza blockade, in place since 2007: that increasing Hamas’s isolation and the suffering of Palestinians in Gaza will destabilize Hamas’s rule and cause Palestinians to rise up against the movement — even if this precipitates a “total collapse,” as human rights organizations described the reduction of electricity.This rationale assumes that the PA would be able to resume administration of the Gaza Strip once Hamas’s rule is weakened.
Read full article