Monday, December 29, 2008

Abbas blames Hamas for bloodshed

The following is being reported by Al Jazeera.net

Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, has blamed Hamas for triggering Israel's deadly raids on Gaza, by not extending a six-month truce with the Jewish state.

He also blamed Hamas, which controls the coastal Gaza Strip territory, for disrupting national unity talks that could have paved the way for general and presidential elections.

"We have warned of this grave danger," he said in Cairo, Egypt, on Sunday.
"We talked to them [Hamas] and we told them, 'please, we ask you, do not end the truce. Let the truce continue and not stop", so that we could have avoided what happened."

However, Fawzi Barhoum, a Hamas spokesman, said he was "surprised" by Abbas's claim.
"He downplayed the sufferings of our people in Gaza and belittled their pains, providing justification of the holocaust and war waged by Israel," he said.

Abbas, whose Fatah movement has been at loggerheads with Hamas, said maintaining the truce could have helped the Palestinians avoid the raids, which have so far killed more than 280 people over the past two days.

Nour Odeh, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Ramallah, reported that senior figures had supported Abbas in his call on Hamas not to abandon the truce.

She added that during an Israeli election year, a hardline position towards Palestinians has always won more seats, making the timing particularly risky for Hamas.

"Not just Abbas, but people close to the circles of decision-making in key Arab states, said that Hamas was warned that breaking the ceasefire or not keeping it would result in mayhem and bloodshed," she reported.

Ayman Mohyeldin, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Gaza, said the stance at all levels of the Hamas leadership was the same: "They will remain defiant in the face of any attacks and that the movement is larger that an single assault or attack.

"That they were democratically elected by the Palestinian people, and only through the ballot box will they leave the political scene."

Hamas argues that Israel violated the truce by failing to ease its 18-month blockade on the Gaza Strip.

'Inaction'
Egypt's foreign minister has also blamed Hamas for preventing hundreds of wounded Palestinians from entering Egypt via the Rafah crossing for treatment - the only crossing that does not border Israel.

Ahmed Aboul Gheit said the wounded were "barred from crossing" and he blamed "those in control of Gaza" for putting the lives of the injured at risk.


You can read the rest of the report at this link: blame

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 9:37 PM   0 comments links to this post

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