JERUSALEM (JTA) — Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said he would break his government’s unity agreement with Hamas if Hamas does not allow the unity government to operate in Gaza.
“We won’t accept a partnership with them if the situation continues like this in Gaza where there is a shadow government running the territory,” Abbas said late Saturday night in Cairo, where he was scheduled to address the Arab League, according to the official Palestinian news agency Wafa.
“If Hamas won’t accept a Palestinian state with one state and one law, then there won’t be any partnership between us. This is our condition, and we won’t back away from it.”
Abbas told reporters that the Palestinian leadership is making every effort to help the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip, and is working to provide all forms of assistance.
He estimated that it will take $7 billion and at least 15 years to rebuild what was destroyed in Gaza during Israel’s seven-week Operation Protective Edge.
Some 461,643 people were displaced in Gaza, with at least 280,000 of them in United Nations shelters and schools, the P.A. leader said.
Abbas said some 18,000 homes were destroyed and another 41,000 were damaged, and that 75 schools were destroyed and another 145 suffered damage. Dozens of public buildings, including mosques, also were destroyed.