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Abbas' Gaza sanctions fit into peace project

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' increasing pressure on Hamas in the Gaza Strip is widely seen as less about reconciliation and more as a step toward a regional settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
A Hamas supporter holds a crossed poster depicting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during a protest against Abbas and Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip April 14, 2017. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa - RTX35K2I
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The Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas have been engaged in a tug of war for some time now. The dispute entered a new stage April 12, when President Mahmoud Abbas promised during a speech at a conference of Palestinian ambassadors in Bahrain to pressure Hamas to end the division.

During his visit to Washington May 4, Abbas vowed to take “painful and unprecedented” measures against Hamas, and they have been escalating by the day. Most recently on June 26, nine patients, three of them children, died in the Gaza Strip after being denied travel permits for treatment abroad.

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