(Hudson NY) The agreement sends a message that the only way to get Israel to release prisoners is by kidnapping Israeli civilians or soldiers and not through negotiations, as advocated by Abbas. Palestinian Authority officials in Ramallah have expressed deep concern over the prisoner swap, saying it would bolster Hamas's standing among Palestinians and significantly weaken Abbas and his Fatah faction. But instead of sitting quiet and waiting until the storm passes away, the Palestinian Authority leaders have been trying to convince the Palestinian public that Israel and Hamas were "colluding" to undermine Abbas's regime. The first statement came from Riad Malki, the foreign minister in the Palestinian Authority government, who announced that the timing of the deal, only a few weeks after Abbas submitted the controversial statehood application to the UN, was "suspicious."Since then, several other Abbas loyalists have claimed that Israel and Hamas struck the deal now in a clear attempt to foil Abbas's statehood plan.