A top Palestinian Authority general says the government of Western-backed Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas is keeping the option of invading the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip on the table.
Speaking to Ha'aretz, Gen. Dhiab al-Ali, head of all PA forces in the so-called "West Bank," said that if Gaza "remains mutinous, the Palestinian Authority will have no choice but to use force against it."
Ali said that the option of a Gaza invasion by PA forces has not yet been broached with the Israelis, who would have to transport PA troops across Israeli territory to Gaza.
Hamas seized control of Gaza in 2007 in a short but brutal coup after accusing Abbas' regime of not permitting the Islamic group full range of legislative powers despite the fact that it had scored a landslide victory in parliamentary elections a year earlier.
With Abbas' term as "president" coming to an end in January, Hamas officials have indicated that if new elections are not held, they could declare Gaza an independent Hamas state.