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Palestinian President Abbas assails Israel, says it stripped his government of all authority


RAMALLAH, West Bank — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says Israel has eroded the authority of his self-rule government in the West Bank to the point where it has "no real power here over anything."

Abbas' unusually blunt comments came during a meeting Wednesday of the Palestinian Central Council.

Abbas asked the council — which consists of legislators, union leaders and other figures — to review interim agreements with Israel that created his autonomy government in the 1990s.

His request is likely intended as a warning to Israel at a time of heightened tensions. The office of Israel's prime minister declined comment.

Earlier this year, Israel withheld tax transfers to the cash-strapped Abbas government after he joined the International Criminal Court — a move potentially paving the way for a war crimes investigation of Israel.

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