Abbas Pleads with Hamas to Stop Rocket Fire

July 6, 2014  

Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas spoke to the chairman of the Hamas political bureau, Khaled Meshaal, on Sunday, and asked him to calm the situation in Gaza.

Abbas asked Meshaal to avoid escalation of the situation, which would give Israel an excuse to launch an operation in Gaza. 

Meshaal reportedly told Abbas that he would not act to stop the rocket fire unless the PA met its financial obligations to Hamas, including paying the overdue salaries of several Hamas officials. 

The PA is currently embroiled in a conflict over wages with Hamas; some 40,000 Hamas employees are not being paid backlogged wages by the newly established unity government, even while the PA’s 70,000 employees in Gaza continue to be paid.

Abbas’s plea surfaces after Hamas has been ignoring the IDF’s ultimatum, which on Thursday called to stop the rocket fire within 48 hours or face war. 

At least fifteen rockets were fired on Israel in a 12-hour period on Saturday, including two at Be’er Sheva; the IAF retaliated with targeted airstrikes

Several ministers and MKs have called for Israel to retake or attack Gaza and institute a “zero tolerance” policy against terrorism over the weekend.

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