update deskMiddle East

King Abdullah hosts Abbas in Amman

Hamas sentences seven Gazans to death for "collaboration" with Israel.

Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas speaks during a meeting of the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah, Sept. 3, 2020. Phot by Flash90.
Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas speaks during a meeting of the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah, Sept. 3, 2020. Phot by Flash90.

Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas met with Jordan’s King Abdullah II in Amman on Tuesday, the P.A.’s Wafa news agency reported.

The two leaders discussed bilateral relations and the latest political developments, among other issues.

Also in attendance at the meeting was Jordanian Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah; Hussein al-Sheikh, secretary-general of the PLO Executive Committee; P.A. General Intelligence Service head Majed Faraj; Abbas’s diplomatic adviser Majdi Khalidi; and PLO Ambassador to Jordan Attalla Khairi.

Meanwhile, a military court in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip on Sunday sentenced seven people to death by hanging for “collaboration” with Israel, the Hamas-run Interior Ministry said in a statement.

Seven others were sentenced to life in prison “with hard labor,” which in Gaza amounts to 25 years.

Under Palestinian law, Abbas is required to approve any death sentence, but this has been routinely ignored since Hamas seized control of the Strip in 2007.

Many attempts at reconciliation between the Hamas and Fatah terrorist groups have failed over the years, including most recently in Egypt late last month.

Talks between the P.A. and Israel have also been in neutral recently, with P.A. Foreign Minister Riad al-Maliki recently slamming the Biden administration as “weak” over its failure to launch a negotiating process with Israel.

Israel is considering a host of measures to boost the P.A., one of which was approved at Sunday’s Security Cabinet meeting.

The Security Cabinet decided to suspend the collection of the debt owed to Israel by the Palestinian Authority for another year, in a move that Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich opposed.

He added that as finance minister, he would not sign off on any measure that would help the P.A. financially.

Sources in the Security Cabinet told Israel Hayom in the wake of the reports that the request to help the P.A. financially had come from the Biden administration that “the U.S. can’t have it both ways with Smotrich: They must decide if he is a partner or not; they can’t boycott him and expect him to play along.”

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