Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas claimed in a recent interview with an Egyptian paper that the Hamas terrorist group, which he signed a reconciliation treaty with early last year, is holding secret negotiations with Israel to establish an Arab state in Gaza.
Speaking with the paper Roz Al-Youssef last month in statements that were just recently translated by MEMRI, Abbas criticized Hamas for starting last summer's terror war against Israel, blaming it for the destruction to Gaza caused by the clash.
He said former US President Jimmy Carter had visited him after the war in an attempt to sign an accord on forming a full unity government between Hamas and PA ending the feud between them, to which Abbas said he had no need of such agreements and instead wanted PA elections held within three to four months. According to him, Carter left at that point and never came back.
But Abbas, who has remained in office since his term ended in January, 2009, said, "I cannot declare elections, because it would mean severing the Gaza Strip from the West Bank. I do not want that. I only want a whole homeland that includes Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem."
Abbas then claimed that "there is security coordination on the border between Hamas and the Israeli occupation. There is a stretch of 50-60 meters beyond the border that acts as a route along which both sides move freely" under an agreement signed with former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi.
"Now there are direct talks between Hamas and the Israelis regarding the establishment of a Gaza state (by) Hamas, the preparations for which began during the Muslim Brotherhood (i.e. Morsi – ed.) regime," charged Abbas.
He said that members of the Muslim Brotherhood, to which Morsi belonged and of which Hamas is a Gazan offshoot, told him, "'we want to grant our beloved (Hamas – ed.) several kilometers in the Sinai' and I told them at the time that I would never demand an inch of Egypt and stressed, 'Egyptian land for Egyptians and Palestinian land for Palestinians.'"