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What's behind Abbas' recent threats to Hamas?

Following his first meeting with US President Donald Trump at the White House, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced his intention to take unprecedented measures against Hamas, raising questions about the timing of such threats.
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier (L) and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas attend a joint news conference in the West Bank city of Ramallah May 9, 2017. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman - RTS15T53

Palestinian Authority (PA) head Mahmoud Abbas met with US President Donald Trump in the White House for the first time on May 3. Shortly after, Abbas announced during his meeting with Arab ambassadors in Washington on May 4 his decision to take unprecedented and painful steps against Hamas, which Washington considers a terrorist organization.

Abbas said during his meeting with the Arab ambassadors, “I will take unprecedented steps against Hamas since it halted the [Fatah-Hamas] reconciliation. The measures will be painful if the movement does not take back its actions,” in reference to Hamas’ refusal to hand over the Gaza Strip to the consensus government.

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