Hamas leader slams Arab states
The exiled political leader of Hamas on Sunday slammed Arab and Islamic states for keeping silent over Israel's 18 day blockade of the Gaza Strip. "What is happening in the Gaza Strip is a tragedy. Shame on those who stay silent on the criminal blockade that has been imposed on Gaza. Shame on Arab and Islamic regimes and on the international community," Khaled Meshaal told a meeting in Syria, according to AFP.
"Every Arab country could send a boat to Gaza" to break the blockade imposed since Hamas ousted forces loyal to Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas in June last year, Meshaal said.
On November 5 Israel tightened the Strip blockade in response to rocket fire at its territory following a deadly raid into the Palestinian territory. In his speech, Meshaal said the return of Palestinian refugees to a homeland now under Israeli occupation was "a natural right guaranteed under international law." "Anyone who compromises on the right of return is party to a great crime," he said.
"I call upon the Arabs not to be too hasty in proposing new initiatives" on peace with Israel, Meshaal said. "It is up to (US president-elect Barack) Obama to present something to the Arabs," he said.