Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas talks during a news conference in Egypt.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The cease-fire agreement that was signed this week between Hamas and Israel is not different from the original proposal made by Egypt at the beginning of the war, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said on Thursday.
In an interview with Palestine TV, Abbas said he saw no difference between the original Egyptian-mediated initiative, which was rejected by Hamas, and the one reached this week.
"The Palestinian Authority was the one that asked for this Egyptian initiative," he stated. "We said that the priority should be to stop the fighting to be followed by the implementation of the 2012 understandings [between Hamas and Israel]."
Abbas added that there was no difference "other than the losses and suffering we went through."
The Palestinian leader's words were seen as being directed against Hamas, whose leaders claim that the long-term cease-fire they accepted this week was different than the original one proposed to them by Egypt.
Abbas also criticized Hamas indirectly by stating that the decision for peace or war "should not remain in the hands of one faction. Otherwise, this will lead to chaos."
Abbas confirmed that Hamas had placed Fatah members under house arrest during the war. He also condemned Hamas' public executions of suspected "collaborators" as a criminal act. If there are "spies," he said, "they should be executed within the frame of the law and not in the streets."
The PA president also strongly condemned Israel, saying it would not escape punishment for its "crimes and massacres" against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip during Operation Protective Edge.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, meanwhile, convened his eight-member security cabinet meeting to discuss the situation in the South.
The prime minister came under fire over the past two days for not bringing the cease-fire agreement to a vote in the cabinet, but rather, together with Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, accepting the Egyptian proposal based on a legal opinion that said they were authorized earlier in the Gaza operation by the security cabinet to accept the deal.
Sources in the Prime Minister's Office said Thursday night that contrary to what Abbas claimed, Netanyahu never expressed a willingness to him to return to the 1967 lines.
Likewise, the sources denied flat out a report in a Jordanian newspaper
that the two met in Jordan in recent days, saying that Netanyahu did not meet Abbas in the previous days or months.