In an interview, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said that Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas was trying “to drag us into a conflict with Hamas. There are numerous events that we are concerned about now, and what stands out is the effort of Abbas to cause a deterioration in the security situation and get us into a conflict with Hamas,” he told Hadashot News.
The profit to Abbas from that would be to force involvement of European nations which are more favorable to his point of view – and more likely to pressure Israel – taking away the initiative of the plan being prepared by the United States. Liberman said that Abbas was taking action in Gaza that would prompt a conflict between Israel and Hamas.
“Abbas is taking advantage of last week’s attack on Prime Minister Hamdallah to end all efforts at a reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah,” Liberman said. “He is planning to stop providing funding for services to Gaza, including electricity, water, health and salaries to workers. When this happens the situation in Gaza will deteriorate significantly.” At that point, he said, Hamas would take out its anger on Israel, firing missiles and launching terror attacks. “The situation is very complicated, and we are investing much effort in ensuring that a war does not break out,” Liberman added.