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Israeli minister suggests barring Abbas from re-entering West Bank

Jan. 15, 2019 11:53 A.M. (Updated: Jan. 21, 2019 2:10 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan suggested barring Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas from returning to the West Bank after his next trip abroad, claiming the Palestinian Authority (PA) leader was “one of the main instigators of violence on the southern border.”

In an interview with Israel Radio, Erdan said Abbas was “responsible for the ongoing turmoil on the Israel-Gaza border through his ongoing economic pressure on Hamas as he tries to break the terror group’s grip over the enclave.”

He said, “The one really responsible behind the scenes for all that is happening is Abu Mazen (Abbas’s nickname). He is the one to move inspectors out of the Rafah Crossing, he is the one sanctioning Hamas in order to pressure Hamas — pressure that is bleeding over to us.”

Erdan added that the Israeli government should consider taking action against Abbas in the coming months as his policy is “undeniably to foment unrest and incite against Israel, whether directly or through sanctions on Hamas.”

He continued, “Maybe we should go as far as to consider one of the next times Abu Mazen leaves not to allow him to come back.”

Erdan criticized Abbas’s political approach, “He makes no contribution to the diplomatic process. He’s only doing damage with his attitude toward Hamas.”

Abbas has engaged in multiple measures against Gaza, such as withholding transfers of tax money, banning entry of fuel supplies, in order to pressure the Hamas movement, which is the de facto leading political party in Gaza, into giving up control of the Strip.

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