Abbas calls Israeli air strikes 'brutal'

PA president also accuses Hamas of trying to destroy the Palestinian dream of statehood.

Abbas ponders 224.88 (photo credit: AP)
Abbas ponders 224.88
(photo credit: AP)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday denounced Israel's ongoing military strikes in the Gaza Strip as "brutal," but also accused Gaza's Hamas rulers of trying to destroy the Palestinian dream of statehood. "In these days, we can only condemn gravely what happens in our cherished Gaza, this brutal attack on this cherished part of our land, every hour, which targets women, children and elderly," Abbas during Christmas celebrations of Armenian Christians in Bethlehem. Abbas also reiterated his demand that Hamas relinquish control of Gaza, saying that since it took over the area last June, the Islamic group has "destroyed and tries to destroy our dreams, future and national aspirations." Meanwhile, Hamas warned of suicide attacks in Israel if it did not end the sanctions and military operations. "If the bloodshed in Gaza and the West Bank does not stop, there will be similar bloodshed in ... Tel Aviv," Hamas spokesman Hamad al-Rukeb said in a statement. Hamas spokesman Ayman Taha echoed Rukeb's defiance, saying Saturday that the group would keep firing rockets at Israel. "We will not surrender and we will not raise white flags."