Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas went on Palestinisn television Thursday to condemn the ongoing rocket fire from Gaza on Israel, Bloomberg reported.
"What are you trying to achieve by sending rockets?" Abbas asked, without mentioning Hamas directly by name. "We prefer to fight with wisdom and politics."
The comments were the first such condemnation from the Palestinian leader since Israel's launch of Operation Protective Edge on Monday, during which hundreds of rockets have been fired from Gaza at Israeli communities across the country, and around 100 Palestinians, including dozens of children, have been reported killed in IAF attacks.
Abbas did not directly mention or lay blame for the attacks on Hamas or any other organization, despite Hamas claiming responsibility for several of the bouts of rocket fire, including the nine rockets fired at Ashdod on Friday morning, one of which struck a gas station and severely wounded one person.
Islamic Jihad, considered to be even more extreme than Hamas, has claimed responsibility for much of the remaining rocket fire.
Abbas' comments could have deeper implications among the Palestinian factions, Bloomberg said, deepening the rift between his Fatah party and the Hamas political leadership, both of whom signed a reconciliation agreement and created a unity government just weeks before the launch of Operation Protective Ege.
But, Bloomberg reported, the Palestinian leader also had criticism for Israel, calling for an end to its latest military operation.
"It's unacceptable that the Gaza Strip should undergo this type of aggression every two years," the report quoted him as saying. "It's not important who wins or loses. What's important is to end this bloodshed."
Meanwhile fear has been growing in the region that Israel may launch a ground incursion into Gaza.
"Where is this leading, is it leading to a ground force incursion? I can't confirm that," said IDF spokesperson Lt. Col. Peter Lerner. "I can confirm we are making all the necessary preparations to be ready for that."
Finance Minister Yair Lapid told Ynet on Thursday that Israel could well launch a ground operation if the rocket fire did not end.