Skip to main content

Abbas’ revenge against Hamas, US, Israel

Israeli officials believe that a decision by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to reimpose sanctions on Gaza is meant to entangle Israel and Hamas in a military adventure.

On March 19 at Palestinian Authority headquarters in Ramallah, President Mahmoud Abbas delivered a tirade rife with frustration against the United States and Israel, including cursing at the US ambassador to Israel. Even before Abbas’ harangue, Israel knew he had decided to again impose punitive sanctions against Gaza and its 2 million Palestinian residents. Israeli intelligence and military analysts have been studying Abbas’ no-holds-barred behavior of recent weeks, as he slings arrows every which way seemingly without regard for their consequences.

“He is under tremendous pressure that makes him adopt irresponsible, verbal populism,” an Israeli defense official told Al-Monitor, speaking on the condition of anonymity and adding that Abbas' most recent utterances against senior US officials suggest extreme despair.

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.