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Arab Leaders Conflict with 'Street' About Israel’s Gaza Assault

By Carol Forsloff     Dec 30, 2008 in World
Not every Arab leader agrees that Israel is at fault for the current crisis in Gaza. Mahmoud Abbas, President of Palestine, has spoken up about Hamas and its unwillingness to talk and practice peace.
Mahmoud Abbas, says that Hamas is to blame for Israel’s military raids in the past few days into Gaza because it refused to extend the six-month trace with the the Jewsih State and because it had also disrupted national unity talks. These talks, Abbas maintains, could have helped pave the way to a peaceful resolution of the problems in Gaza and for general and presidential elections. Al-Jazeera has reported Abbas statements as other leaders in the Arab world have differing opinions about Gaza.
According to Al-Jazeera, who quoted Abbas, as saying on Sunday while in Egypt, "We have warned of this grave danger," Abbas said this on Sunday while in Egypt. He further said,"We talked to them [Hamas] and we told them, 'please, we ask you, do not end the truce. Let the truce continue and not stop", so that we could have avoided what happened." This shows the continuing friction between the Fatah movement and Hamas
Al-Jazeera, sometimes portrayed in the West as one-sided, features most of its news surrounding the Gaza conflict, with virtually nothing else on its front pages during the past few days. It has, however, examined the issues in some depth, reporting the fact that not every leader in the Middle East supports Hamas. In fact Nour Odeh, who is a staff reporter with Al Jazeera in Ramallah, reported that senior figures in the Arab countries had supported Abbas in his call on Hamas not to abandon the truce, warning that it would lead to serious conflict..
Ayman Mohyeldin, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Gaza, said the stance at all levels of the Hamas leadership was the same: "They will remain defiant in the face of any attacks and that the movement is larger that an single assault or attack.
Egypt's foreign minister has also taken a position concerning Hamas unwillingness to help hundreds of wounded Palestinians from entering Egypt in the only area that does not border Israel. The minister, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, maintains barring the wounded Palestinians from crossing through non-Israeli territory put many lives at risk.
Hamas was democratically elected by the Palestinians and the belief is that they won’t leave Gaza so long as they have the confidence and vote of the people. The Arab street denounces Israel’s bombings, while some of the leaders consider Hamas to blame.
Perhaps some Arab leaders recognize things from world history that is this: a vote of the people may not insure quality leadership. Adolph Hitler and his party took over power in a series of elections, manipulations and promises themselves that included a significant enough vote of the German people to get them elected. This occurred at a time of serious stress within the country and likely precipitated much of the vote. Palestinians also live in stressful conditions and some may seek retribution through power plays of leaders who may not have their best interests in mind, as seems to be the belief of some Arab leaders.
More about Israel, Arab, Gaza