Skip to main content

Bibi uses Gaza as wedge between Abbas, Hamas

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will accept Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' entry into Gaza, but only if the unity government is dissolved.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (L) sits next to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as leaders gathered to deliver a joint statement on Middle East Peace talks in the East Room of the White House in Washington September 1, 2010.     REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS IMAGES OF THE DAY) - RTR2HTF7
Read in 

The late Prime Minister Ariel Sharon must have turned over in his grave on Anemone Hill when he heard Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s declaration at an Aug. 27 news conference about Israel’s victory in the Protective Edge operation. “We would have been happy to see [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas] enter the Gaza Strip, rather than Hamas enter Judea and Samaria,” Netanyahu said.

Bring the Palestinian Authority (PA) into Gaza? The whole point of the disengagement from Gaza, with the evacuation of every last settler and soldier from the Katif settlement bloc, was its unilateralism. Sharon firmly rejected handing the Gaza Strip to the Palestinian president and committing to make it a down payment on a future permanent agreement between the sides. Sharon insisted that the PA would not be allowed to claim a scintilla of credit for the withdrawal from Gaza. Sharon’s heir to the premiership, Ehud Olmert, upgraded the Israeli disengagement from Gaza with the separation policy that cut Gaza off from the West Bank.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.