Abbas to punish officials criticizing Arab leaders

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday threatened to punish any official criticizing Arab leaders.

The official Wafa news agency said Abbas has reiterated rejection of "interfering in internal affairs of Arab countries or criticizing any of their leaders."

Abbas said he will punish any member in the Palestinian leadership who criticizes Arab leaders for "undermining Arab and Palestinian security," Wafa said.

He praised support of Arab countries and their rejection of U.S. President Donald Trump's decision in December to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

It remains unclear the reason of Abbas's statement, but local and Arab media recently cited tension between the Palestinian leader and Arab states, particularly Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

Jibril Rajoub, a member of Fatah's Central Committee, has recently criticized Egypt's handling of inter-Palestinian reconciliation talks between Fatah and its rival group Hamas.

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