Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, widely hailed as a pro-Western liberal, would drop his relationship wth the US in order to reconcile with the Islamic terrorist organization Hamas.
That according to Azzam Ahmed, a top advisor to Abbas.
Ahmed told the Associated Press on Monday that “the Palestinans need American money, but if they use it as a way of pressuring us, we are ready to relinquish that aid.”
Ahmed was responding to concerns that the US Congress could curtail hundreds of millions of dollars in annual aid to Abbas’ regime if it goes through with efforts to forge a unity government with Hamas.
Hamas won the 2006 Palestinan parliamentary election, but Abbas prevented the group from exercising the full power granted to it by that victory. A year later, Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip in a blood-soaked coup. Since then, Hamas and Abbas’ Fatah-led government have been at odds.
This week, Abbas announced that he was ready to visit Gaza personally, putting his own life at risk, in order to mend relations with Hamas. Israel sees the overture as indicative of the Palestinian regime’s true intentions, as Hamas remains dedicated to the destruction of the Jewish state.
“Abbas has to choose whether he wants peace with Israel, or peace with Hamas,” an Israeli government official told The Jerusalem Post. “He can’t have both. If he chooses peace with Hamas, it will bury the peace process.”