Palestinian president says Hamas serving US interests

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is accusing his Hamas rivals of serving U.S. interests by refusing to relinquish control of the Gaza Strip.

Abbas fears the U.S. is planning a proposal that would offer the Palestinians limited statehood in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip and some autonomy in parts of the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Abbas demands full independence in both territories.

In a speech Monday, Abbas said that Hamas’ refusal to give up control of Gaza is “accepting the thoughts of the enemy, who plans to have a mini state in Gaza and autonomy in West Bank.”

Hamas seized control of Gaza from Abbas’ forces in 2007, and reconciliation efforts have repeatedly failed.

Abbas cut off ties with the U.S. after President Donald Trump recognized contested Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last year.

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