RAMALLAH: Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas pressed the militant group Hamas on Wednesday to agree a Gaza deal quickly to avoid “dire consequences,” the official Palestinian news agency Wafa reported.

“We call on the Hamas movement to quickly complete a prisoner deal, to spare our Palestinian people from the calamity of another catastrophic event with dire consequences, no less dangerous than the Nakba of 1948,” Abbas said.

The president was referring to the war accompanying the creation of Israel, which saw 760,000 Palestinians flee or forced from their homes.

Abbas’s internationally recognized Palestinian Authority has not been involved in this week’s talks hosted by Egypt, aimed at securing a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel after more than four months of war.

Seated in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, the PA is widely derided by Palestinians who have failed to see their aspirations for statehood realized since 1948.

The United States — Israel’s top military backer and a PA funder — has said it supports the creation of a Palestinian state but wants an overhaul of the leadership.

Washington’s top diplomat, Antony Blinken, said last month Abbas was “committed” to reforming the PA “so that it can effectively take responsibility for Gaza, so that Gaza and the West Bank can be reunited under a Palestinian leadership.”

Gaza has had its own separate administration run by Hamas since 2007 when Abbas loyalists were ousted from the territory.