Bibi uses Gaza as wedge between Abbas and Hamas

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (L) sits next to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington, Sept. 1, 2010. (photo by REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)
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The late Prime Minister Ariel Sharon must have turned over in his grave on Anemone Hill when he heard Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s declaration at an Aug. 27 news conference about Israel’s victory in the Protective Edge operation. “We would have been happy to see [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas] enter the Gaza Strip, rather than Hamas enter Judea and Samaria,” Netanyahu said.

Bring the Palestinian Authority into Gaza? The whole point of the disengagement from Gaza, with the evacuation of every last settler and soldier from the Katif settlement bloc, was its unilateralism. Sharon firmly rejected handing the Gaza Strip to the Palestinian president and committing to make it a down payment on a future permanent agreement between the sides.

Sharon insisted that the Palestinian Authority would not be allowed to claim a scintilla of credit for the withdrawal from Gaza. Sharon’s heir to the premiership, Ehud Olmert, upgraded the Israeli disengagement from Gaza with the separation policy that cut Gaza off from the West Bank.

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