While President Trump’s early comments on the prospect of an Israeli-Palestinian peace didn’t inspire a lot of confidence, particularly his dismissal of the two-state solution, the fact that he’s still talking up an effort at all has the Palestinian Authority trying to keep him at least sort of on board with the idea of peace.
PA President Mahmoud Abbas appears to be betting that praising Trump and taking harsh action against Hamas, and by extension against the Gaza Strip, will be enough to convince Trump that he is a “partner” for the peace process, despite insistence from a lot of Israelis that no such partner exists.
It is that interest that saw Abbas slash into the salaries PA workers who live in the Gaza Strip, raising expectations that many will be forced into early retirement in favor of more workers that are loyal to Abbas and his allies, or at least live in places that suggest such a loyalty.
More importantly, it is also this interest in being “hard on Hamas” which drove Abbas yesterday to announce he is defunding all electricity imports into the Gaza Strip, a move that is likely to leave the densely populated strip with what is likely to be an open-ended power outage, as Gaza’s lone power plant is rarely able to import fuel, and even then not up to providing power for anywhere near the whole strip.
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