Hamas Calls on Egypt to Send Army to Jerusalem
Hamas has called on Egypt to send its army into Jerusalem "to liberate [the] Al-Aqsa Mosque rather than to send troops to Gaza." Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul-Gheit on Saturday suggested that its soldiers take over security in Gaza, a proposal that Hamas's rival party Fatah has welcomed.
Hamas spokesperson, Ismail Radwan, said that Arab countries should send their armies to the Israeli capital and take control of the city, which the Palestinian Authority (PA) wants as the seat of its proposed new country, which would include the Temple Mount, where Al Aqsa is located.
PA Minister of Prisoners Affairs Ashraf al-Ajrami welcomed the Egyptian proposal as helping "to end the state of split that emerged after Hamas's coup" last summer. "If Hamas [were] interested to reunite [sic] the internal Palestinian position and end the split, it has to accept this idea," he said.
Al-Ajrami said that Hamas's rejection of allowing Egyptian troops in Gaza "proves that it has no decision to give up the authority it gained by force."
Abul-Gheit raised the idea of deploying Arab troops in an interview with a local October magazine on Saturday. "Having Arab troops on the ground could help prevent fighting and confrontations between the Palestinian and Israeli sides," Abul-Gheit stated.
Hamas has bitterly objected to PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas's meetings with the Olmert administration, calling Sunday's talks with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert "failed efforts and [an] absurd meeting."
Hamas spokesman, Sami Abu Zuhri, said that Hamas is "satisfied for the failing of the negotiations." Abbas walked out of the talks in less than an hour as Prime Minister Olmert exclaimed that they must reach an agreement by the end of this year while Abbas stated there would be no pact without PA sovereignty over all of Judea and Samaria, including the Temple Mount.