Middle East

Abbas warns of painful steps against Palestinian rival Hamas

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says that "things will be painful" for political rival Hamas, referring to recent financial steps he has taken to pressure the Islamic militant rulers of the Gaza Strip.

Abbas spoke in a meeting with Arab ambassadors late Thursday before leaving Washington where he had met with President Donald Trump earlier in the week about resuming peace talks with Israel.

Hamas, which seized Gaza from Abbas in 2007, has dismissed his strategy of negotiations as a waste of time.

Abbas recently warned he would cut salaries, aid and subsidies to Gaza to force the militants to cede ground. Earlier this week, his West Bank-based government announced it will stop paying for electricity Israel sends to power-starved Gaza.

Hamas says it would not bow to pressure from Abbas.