The Arab League, headed by former Egyptian foreign minister Amr Moussa, also used bland language, in relation to Arab responses to the fighting 2002 (Defensive Shield), he “called for an end to the Israeli air-strikes on Gaza insisting that a lasting solution was needed to achieve any real results in the troubled region.”
The positions of Hamas and Islamic Jihad are, well, under attack right now by the IDF. Nevertheless, Israeli TV has reported a statement from Hamas sources, nearly identical to Nasrallah’s, in 2006: “If we knew this [Israel’s massive strike] was going to happen, we would not have broken the tahadya (cease-fire).”
It is especially interesting to see the development of the relationship between Hamas and the PLO faction of Fatah. Hamas’ actions in the Gaza civil war of 2007 seem to be repeated during this operation, as well. The Jerusalem Post has reported on the ongoing internecine fighting in Gaza. Not only have many Fatah members been placed under house arrest “out of of fear that they might exploit the current IDF operation to regain control of the Gaza Strip,” but Hamas members have been assaulting Fatah members since the beginning of Cast Lead, shooting at least 75 in the legs, and breaking others’ hands. Furthermore, Hamas has also “executed” more than 35 people, suspected of “collaborating” with Israel.
PA chair, Mahmoud Abbas (aka Abu-Mazen), has been giving the appropriate lip service to the fighting against Israel, calling the operation a “brutal aggression.” Other senior PA figures have made similar statements, calling on Hamas to involve Fatah members in the fight against Israel, but others, including a senior aide to Abbas, have attacked Hamas “and accused it of being a puppet in the hands of Iran.” Although speaking anonymously, the same aide mentioned that the PA has banned all pro-Hamas demonstrations in the West Bank. One top advisor to Abbas did speak openly, though, “Tayeb Abdel Rahim… accused Hamas of spreading ‘lies’ and of incitement against the PA leadership.”
Jeffrey Goldberg is also reporting that some Fatah members are supporting the IAF. Memories of the civil war are still fresh in the minds of Fatah members, and apart from just talking, Hamas has been reporting that Fatah supporters are actually assisting the IDF in Gaza. The reliability of these reports is questionable, given their source. Nevertheless, the very fact that such an idea is even being floating is a testament to the rift between the rival groups.
Update regarding Egypt’s role: Former Egyptian ambassador to Israel and current MP, Muhammad Basyouni, attacked Hamas for abandoning Gazans, asking, “Where are the Hamas leaders now, when the residents of Gaza are getting killed?”
NEXT: The Jewish World’s reaction, and the Israeli public’s.