Arabs condemn Israel, but also displeased with Hamas

Sunday, December 28, 2008 |  Israel Today Staff

Israel has predictably earned broad condemnation from the Palestinians and the wider Arab world over its assault on the Gaza terrorist infrastructure, but Arab leaders are also none too pleased with Hamas and the way it has been behaving.

Speaking to reporters following meetings with Egypt's leadership in Cairo on Sunday, Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas said he had urged Hamas to extend its ceasefire with Israel and not resume full-scale rocket fire on southern Israel.

Hamas ignored that advice and sent over 300 rockets into southern Israel over the past two weeks, prompting Israel's massive aerial assault on Gaza.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Aboul Gheit attacked Hamas for preventing wounded Palestinians from crossing Gaza's southern border for treatment in Egypt.

Gheit also appeared to blame Hamas alone when a reporter asked who he believed was responsible for the dire escalation of violence in and around Gaza.

"Ask the party that controls Gaza," was Gheit's terse response.

Hamas officials cited by The Jerusalem Post accused both Egypt and the Abbas regime of collusion with Israel, noting that both governments must have been aware of Israel's plans to strike Gaza.

In fact, both Egypt and the Palestinian Authority warned Hamas last week that renewing full-scale rocket attacks on Israel would not end well for the terror group.

Palestinian officials in Ramallah said that if Israel manages to overthrow Hamas rule in Gaza they are prepared to move right in and fill the managerial void.

"We believe the people there are fed up with Hamas and want to see a new government," one official told the Post.

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