By Bassam Tawil, Gatestone Institute

The Palestinian Authority (PA) is continuing to pursue a policy of double-dealing regarding the Gaza Strip.

On the one hand, President Mahmoud Abbas and the PA leadership continue inciting against Israel by holding it solely responsible for the humanitarian and economic crisis in the Gaza Strip. On the other hand, Abbas and his Ramallah-based government continue to impose strict economic sanctions on the Gaza Strip.

Now, Abbas is bending over backwards to foil a cease-fire agreement between Israel and Hamas and the other Palestinian terror groups in the Gaza Strip. Abbas says he is worried that such a deal would pave the way for the implementation of US President Donald Trump’s yet-to-be-announced plan for peace in the Middle East.

Although they have never seen the Trump plan, Abbas and the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah claim that it envisages the establishment of a separate Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip. They also argue that the Trump plan seeks to transform the Palestinian-Israeli conflict from a political and national conflict into one that is related only to humanitarian and economic issues. Abbas says he fears that the humanitarian and economic aid that the international community is promising to the Gaza Strip, as part of a cease-fire deal, is aimed at extracting concessions from the Palestinians, especially on issues related to Jerusalem and Palestinian refugees.

Abbas also claims that any cease-fire agreement would solidify the split between the West Bank and Gaza Strip. He argues that the PLO, the “sole, legitimate representative of the Palestinian people,” is the only party authorized to sign an agreement with Israel. Continue Reading…