Hamas and Islamic Jihad said that the speech made by PA ceif Mahmoud Abbas Sunday night was full of "contradictory and incorrect information" and was an attempt by him to evade his direct responsibility for the "crime" he committed against Goldstone’s report. In a press statement to the Palestinian information center (PIC), Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said that Abbas’ comments do not serve the atmosphere of reconciliation, noting that the Palestinian people were expecting an apology from him for his position against Goldstone’s report on the recent Gaza war.
The Hamas spokesman pointed out that Abbas’ direct responsibility for what happened to the report was confirmed by many international human rights organizations, UN officials, and Palestinian factions including Fatah itself.
On his part, spokesman for Islamic Jihad Dawoud Shihab stated in a statement to Al-Quds satellite channel that Abbas’ attempts to justify his position against Goldstone’s report were in disrespect for the Palestinian people, stressing that Abbas was supposed to apologize to his people. According to Shihab, Abbas was trying to absorb the popular anger, but his speech worsened the situation in the Palestinian arena.
He also refuted Abbas’ allegation that the decision of the report delay was taken after consultations with Arabs, saying that Egyptian foreign minister Ahmed Abu Al-Gheit had stated that Abbas did not consult Egypt and if he did, he would be advised not to act against Goldstone’s report. “If the Egyptians are Abbas’s friends, why have not they been consulted? And who are the Arab groups that have been consulted?’’ he questioned.
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