On the announcement of a potential definitive separation between Transjordan and Gaza, relations between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas continue to deteriorate despite the attempt at Egyptian mediation.

The Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, went to Cairo where he met the Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah al-Sissi. Nothing seems to have come out of this meeting. During the final press conference, President Abbas maintained his position that the United States should be taken out of the picture, on the grounds that the US had demonstrated a pro-Israel bias. He also declared that if Hamas kept up its current conduct, then the Palestine Authority would no longer support it.

Mahmoud Abbas has withdrawn his officials from the boundary passage of Rafah (the only way of land communication between the Gaza Strip and the rest of the world, through Egypt) where they have been replaced by Hamas militia.

At the same time individuals, who have not yet been identified, attacked the TV headquarters of the Palestine Authority in Gaza. These premises were vandalized (photo) and some equipment stolen. According to Ramallah, this operation is imputable to Hamas. On the contrary, Hamas argues that employees of the TV station, who would not have been paid, are to blame.

Hamas had announced that Israel had prevented Qatar from making a third payment of a sum that was meant to pay Hamas officials in the Gaza Strip. An ultimatum was then given to the government of Netanyahu: if the money does not arrive by 11 January at the latest the incidents along the security barrier would start again.

Hamas has begun to a wave of arrests of officials from the Palestine Authority at Gaza. Around a thousand people have been incarcerated.

Anoosha Boralessa