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Why is Abbas playing hardball with Hamas?

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has taken a tough stance toward Hamas since the Gaza war ended, in part in an effort to appease Egypt and some of the Gulf states vehemently opposed to the Muslim Brotherhood.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas waves during a swearing-in ceremony of the unity government, in the West Bank city of Ramallah June 2, 2014. Abbas swore in a unity government on Monday after overcoming a last-minute dispute with the Hamas Islamist group.
 REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman (WEST BANK - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR3RT40

On paper it looks like Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his counterparts in Hamas need each other. Abbas will be unable to carry out Gaza's reconstruction or even talk convincingly to the world about the future of Palestine without the acquiescence of the Islamists. On the other hand, Hamas cannot get a hammer or nail into Gaza or pay the 40,000 workers it has employed without the approval of the Palestinian president. If both sides so badly need each other, why is the Palestinian leader playing hardball with Hamas?

According to leaked transcripts, Abbas was extremely tough with Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal during a private meeting with the Qatari emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, during the last days of the recent war with Israel. Abbas’ anger with Hamas was also made public after the cease-fire agreement in interviews he gave to a Palestinian television station.

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