Report: Head of Israel’s Security Service Warned Abbas Not to Run or Form Government With Hamas in Upcoming PA Elections
The head of Israel’s Shin Bet security service told Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas not to run or form a government with Hamas in the upcoming PA elections, Axios reported Wednesday.
According to the report, Shin Bet chief Nadav Argaman met with Abbas in Ramallah to urge him not to collaborate with Hamas out of concern in the Israeli security establishment that the Islamist terrorist group may exploit electoral success to take over the West Bank, as it did in Gaza.
Palestinian officials have claimed Argaman told Abbas to cancel the scheduled May 22 elections, but that Abbas refused.
Israeli officials have denied this, but said that Argaman did tell Abbas that a government that included Hamas would cause a serious crisis in PA-Israel relations.
Israeli sources also said that the White House is apparently unconcerned about the elections, and “didn’t give the Palestinians any negative signals about it.”
The US administration has yet to announce its stance on the elections and it has not even been discussed at senior levels, sources said.
According to a poll by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, Abbas’ Fatah party is leading Hamas 38% to 22%, but 57% of Palestinians want Abbas to step down rather than run for president again.