Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is planning to stop all payments to Gaza, which would likely lead Hamas and Israel into a direct conflict, according to Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman.

Hamas terrorists in Gaza

Hamas terrorists in Gaza Photo Credit: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash 90

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman told Hadashot’s Dana Weiss that Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas is trying to force Israel into a conflict with Hamas. In an interview on Saturday evening, a day after two Israeli soldiers were murdered by a Palestinian terrorist, Liberman said that Abbas is clearly trying to cause the tensions between Israel and the ruling terrorist group in Gaza to rise.

Last week, PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah survived an assassination attempt while he was in Gaza. Shortly after the attack, Abbas issued a statement holding Hamas responsible for the attempt on the senior PA official’s life. According to Liberman, Abbas has decided to use the assassination attempt as justification to stop the PA’s payments to Gaza, which would exacerbate the tensions between Gaza and Israel.

“What particularly stands out is the attempt by Abu Mazen [Abbas] to make the situation worse and spark a conflict between Hamas and Israel,” Liberman claimed. “We are witnessing the attempts by Abu Mazen to bring about a conflict. He is trying to bring about a deterioration [in the security situation] because once he stops the payments, also for the humanitarian services such as health and water, it’s clear that this will make the situation in Gaza worse.”

The Yisrael Beiteinu chairman also commented on the terrorist who carried out Friday’s car-ramming attack in the West Bank. “This is a person who was exposed to incitement 24 hours a day, including from official Palestinian media outlets. He knows that he and his family will receive a stipend,” Liberman stated. “This is why I’m advancing legislation to cancel out the terror money from the same funds we transfer to the PA. I hope there won’t be any more disturbances because we need to cancel out this money, and the cabinet needs to finally approve the death penalty for terrorists.”

At the beginning of the interview, Liberman warned that Israel will likely experience more terror attacks in the coming months as Israel’s 70th anniversary and the date of the American embassy move approach.