Hamas officials assailed Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for his criticism of the persistent rocket attacks on Israel, Israel Radio reported on Saturday.

Leaders of the Islamist movement which rules Gaza said that Abbas, who heads the rival Fatah faction, was “aiding the enemy” by making his statement. Hamas accused the PA chief of “acting as a third party” while branding him “a criminal” and “a Likud member.”

In an interview with Lebanese television network Al-Ma’ayadin, Abbas said that Hamas’ demands for a ceasefire were unnecessary, and that both sides needed to halt hostilities immediately.

“We are the losing side, and every minute there are more and more unnecessary deaths,” the Palestinian leader said. “I don’t like trading in Palestinian blood.”

Abbas also criticized Hamas on Palestinian television. “What are you trying to achieve by sending rockets?” Abbas told Palestine TV. “We prefer to fight with wisdom and politics.”

“It’s not important who wins or loses,” Mr. Abbas said. “What’s important is to end this bloodshed.”

Abbas said that he has been in touch with Turkish leaders in an effort to bring about a ceasefire.

Earlier this year, Abbas’ Fatah faction and Hamas agreed to back a unity government made up of technocrats, a move that angered Israel and contributed to the disintegration of peace talks.



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