Palestinian President Abbas says Hamas gave Israel ‘pretexts’ to attack Gaza

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday said Hamas gave Israel an excuse to wage war on Gaza with its October 7 attack from the Palestinian territory.

“The military operation carried out by Hamas by a unilateral decision on that day, October 7, provided Israel with more pretexts and justifications to attack the Gaza Strip,” Abbas told an Arab League summit in Bahrain.

The 33rd Arab League summit kicked off Thursday in the Bahraini capital, Manama, where Arab leaders are gathered in a meeting dominated by the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.

Addressing the summit, Abbas said that the Palestinian government has not received the financial support it had expected from international and regional partners.

“It has now become critical to activate the Arab safety net, to boost the resilience of our people and to enable the government to carry out its duties,” Abbas said.

Funding of the Palestinian Authority, the body which exercises limited governance of the occupied West Bank, has been severely restricted by a dispute over transferring tax revenue Israel collects on behalf of the Palestinians.

Funding from international donors has also been squeezed, falling from 30 percent of the $6 billion annual budget to around 1 percent, former Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh has said.

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