In light of the ongoing crisis regarding the three kidnapped Israeli teens, which Israel has blamed on Islamic terror group Hamas, the Palestinian Authority has stopped taking steps in the reconciliation process with Hamas which led to the establishment earlier this month of a Palestinian unity government, The Times of Israel has learned.
Following statements made Monday by a senior Palestinian official, who told The Times of Israel that if it was proved that Hamas was behind the kidnappings the PA would reevaluate the unity pact, the Palestinian government convened on Tuesday and decided that it would continue to refrain from paying the salaries of former Hamas government officials, some 40,000 in number.
The salaries issue was a focus of tension between Hamas and Fatah after the reconciliation agreement was signed, and banks in the Gaza Strip were closed for six days after the Hamas worker’s salaries were not transferred.
Additionally, Fatah has stopped holding deliberations and meetings of the committee that is to examine the integration of Hamas into PLO institutions, and has decided not to convene the Palestinian parliament, which was to occur in another three weeks’ time.
Hamas had asked that the parliament be convened in order to appoint former prime minister Ismail Haniyeh to the post of Palestinian parliament chairman, which would turn him into Mahmoud Abbas’s successor were Abbas unable to continue in the position of PA president.