Palestinian Authority (PA) head Mahmoud Abbas said in a PA TV interview Thursday translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), that the casualties of the Gaza war could have been avoided if Hamas had only agreed to a ceasefire early on. In the end, he said, "we went back to talking about an immediate ceasefire... this had been my position from the beginning."
"We do not want to face a massacre every couple of years," he added, and insisted that there is absolutely no difference between the initial suggested ceasefire accord and the one eventually agreed by the sides.
He said that the PA will be the one to supervise the supply of electricity, water and other aid to Gaza. "Israel has nothing to do with this," he said, although the UN may supervise the process.
Abbas also blasted Hamas for lying to him when it initially denied having abducted the three Jewish teens on June 12. "I was really surprised," he said, when it turned out that Hamas was indeed behind the murders, and even Khaled Mashaal admitted as much. Abbas explained that Mashaal's claim that the Hamas central leadership was not involved is not credible. "It would have been better if you and your men shut up," he added.