Abbas: Hamas Seeks Peace, Even if its Boss Says Otherwise
The Arab “disinformation machine” was working at full force Thursday, Israeli observers said, as Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas criticized Hamas for allegedly reneging on its previous recognition of Israel. According to Abbas, Hamas had already accepted the two-state principle when it came to “understandings” with Fatah that included acceptance of the Oslo Accords themselves.
In a speech given by Hamas top terrorist Khaled Mashaal in Gaza over the weekend, Mashaal said that Hamas would not rest until it had destroyed Israel completely, taking over all the land between “the river and the sea” and destroying the Jewish communities of Israel. Masha'al said that Hamas “would never recognize the state of Israel,” and would continue to use terrorism until Israel was destroyed.
Abbas said that technically, Mashaal had already recognized Israel. “I do not agree with Masha'al about not recognizing Israel, because we have already done so in 1993.” Hamas and Fatah, he said, had already agreed to accept Oslo, “and this agreement was ratified by Mashaal.
“There are a number of agreements between Hamas and Fatah which talk about the two-state solution,” Abbas added. “Mashaal stands behind these agreements,” despite his very clear comments in Gaza that Hamas intended to continue its terror campaign until Israel was destroyed.
Israeli observers said that the tactic was common among the leadership of the PA. “It used to be that they would say what they really meant out of the eyes of the international media, but they see that this is no longer necessary,” said one Israeli analyst. “They know that it is enough for Abbas to claim that Hamas is 'peace-loving' for them to be portrayed thusly in the media, even as Hamas' leader clearly says what he means. They are counting on the media to report what Abbas says about Hamas instead of what Hamas really says, and they are most likely to get away with it,” the analyst added.