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Israel fans flames separating Palestinians in Gaza, West Bank

Recent statements by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are feeding suspicions between Hamas and Fatah and widening the divisions between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
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Rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas are exchanging accusations following unprecedented statements by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in which he rejected the idea of the Palestinian Authority (PA) reclaiming control over the Gaza Strip — because Israel is benefiting from the Palestinian division. He also said Israel will not give Gaza to PA President Mahmoud Abbas.

In an April 4 interview with Israel Hayom newspaper, Netanyahu stressed that the Gaza Strip and the West Bank have become separate entities, and that this is not particularly a bad thing for Israel. He said, “[Abbas] brought that upon himself. He cut back the influx of PA funds [to Gaza]. He thought that by doing so, he could send Gaza up in flames. We would [have to] pay for the occupation of Gaza with a heavy loss of life, and on Israel’s back, [Abbas] would get Gaza on a silver platter."

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