Gaza’s ruling Hamas terror group will not be cowed by threatened funding cuts, a senior leader says, signaling escalating tensions between the militants and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Abbas has threatened to take “unprecedented” financial steps to force Hamas to cede control in Gaza, a territory it seized from his forces in 2007. Reconciliation attempts between rival governments in the West Bank and Gaza have failed.
The renewed push to regain a foothold in Gaza comes ahead of Abbas’s meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House next week. Abbas is under pressure to show that he represents all Palestinians, including those in Gaza.
Khalil al-Haya, the second highest ranking Hamas leader in Gaza, tells The Associated Press that Abbas will fail “if he tries to make Gaza kneel or expects to win our loyalty by force.”