Abbas slams Hamas for intransigence during Gaza op
Palestinian leader stresses Gaza terror group cannot dictate outbreak of war: 'That's not unity; it is not reconciliation.'
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas slammed Hamas' behavior during both IDF Operations Protective Edge and Brother's Keeper in a TV interview Tuesday night.
Earlier in the evening, Hamas' political chief Khaled Mashal attacked the Palestinian Authority's security forces for preventing an intifada in the West Bank.
During the interview, Abbas admitted that there was no difference between the Egyptian initiative introduced at the beginning of the operation and the proposal accepted at its end, 50 days later.
He said the Palestinian Authority requested the Egyptian initiative, which centered on an end to the killing of civilians, according to Abbas, and the reimplementation of the understandings reached in Pillar of Defense.
Abbas hinted that the entity responsible for the suffering of the Palestinians was Hamas, whose stubbornness did not benefit the process.
The Palestinian leader objected to Hamas' declaration that it would decide whether there was war or calm because, according to the Palestinian unity accords, that decision can only be taken by the PA.
Abbas said that if that condition was not followed there was no utility in the reconciliation effort. "One side must not be able to declare war. That's not unity; it is not reconciliation."
The PA leader stressed that the project of rehabilitating the Gaza Strip would only be undertaken by the Palestinian Authority.
Abbas also addressed the kidnap and murder of the three Israeli teens in the West Bank, emphasizing that the Palestinian Authority had no information about the abductors, though Israel has announced that Hamas was behind the affair.
Abbas added that he asked Khaled Mashal if Hamas was responsible and was answered negatively. He said he was surprised when, a few days later, senior Hamas official Salah al-Arouri admitted that Hamas was responsible for the attack – especially after Mashal officially announced that Hamas had no part in the abduction.
The Palestinian leader then condemned the public killings of alleged Israeli collaborators in Gaza, calling the murders a crime.