Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas unleashed vitriolic invective on his unity partner Hamas, the terrorist organization ruling Gaza, claiming on Saturday that it had reached secret agreements with Israel to create a Palestinian state in Gaza and the Sinai Peninsula.
Hamas "is still seeking its old dream of an independent Islamic state in Gaza, which matches the plans of many countries who work against the interests of Palestine," Abbas claimed to Al-Bawaba, as cited by the Palestinian Arab Ma'an News Agency.
Abbas alleged that in meetings with Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi he was told Hamas and Israel agreed on a proposal to create a state for the terrorist organization, with the issue of Judea and Samaria removed from the discussion.
"I discussed this specific matter with President al-Sisi, and noted that Hamas and Israel have already agreed on the resolution, to which he responded, 'no Egyptian would ever allow Israel or Hamas to have a single centimeter from our land,' and Palestinians will never accept to build their state on another country's land," Abbas said.
The claim may strike many as suspect, particularly given that Hamas has vowed to destroy Israel and criticized Abbas in the past for holding negotiations with Israel, making it unlikely they would reach agreements with the Jewish state. Israel has also refused to negotiate with Hamas, although it negotiated a truce in the summer's war against the terror group.
The statement does, however, follow on reports last September indicating Sisi had offered to create a Palestinian state in Sinai and Gaza, with Sisi quickly dismissing the reports as fictitious.
Egypt for its part has been expelling Gazans from the Sinai border and demolishing hundreds of homes, as it creates a security buffer zone in the Hamas stronghold.
Secret PA talks with Israel?
Abbas on Saturday denied that his government was holding secret talks with Israel, saying "there are no such thing as secret negotiations, there is however permanent coordination on the ground, as the situation in Ramallah is different from Gaza."
"Palestinians and Israelis live side by side, which requires complete coordination between our security personnel and theirs, we also use the Israeli ports, since we don’t have any," added Abbas. Hamas has condemned the PA over the security cooperation many times in the past.
Abbas recently approached the UN with a resolution demanding recognition and Israeli withdrawals, which ultimately failed. He then turned to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to press "war crimes" allegations against Israel.
The PA has demanded that Israel stop building in eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria if it wants the PA to remove the ICC suit, and issued an ultimatum that the security coordination will be cancelled if Israel does not do so.
Abbas's barrage against Hamas comes after Hamas blamed Abbas for the "siege" on Gaza, threatening that if the PA does not "stand beside Gaza" there will be a "popular explosion."