Abbas: Gaza is an 'emirate of darkness'

Abbas Gaza is an emira

The Hamas-run Gaza Strip is an "emirate of darkness," Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Tuesday, as the rift deepened between rival Palestinian factions. Abbas also accused Hamas fighters of fleeing during Operation Cast Lead last winter. His remarks on came in response to harsh condemnations from Hamas over Abbas' recent decision to withdraw support for the Goldstone fact-finding mission into the Gaza conflict, which accused Israel of war crimes. Abbas's controversial initial decision sparked a wave of unprecedented denunciations in the PA territories and throughout the Arab and Islamic countries. Abbas later reversed his stance and is now pushing to have the issue taken up by the UN. But Hamas still seeks to capitalize on widespread outrage against the Fatah leader. On Monday, a mock trial organized by the Palestinian Children's Forum in Rafah under the auspices of Hamas found him guilty of high treason and sentenced him to life in prison. Meanwhile, Hamas TV claimed Tuesday that Yousef Abu Zuhri, the brother of Gaza-based Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri, was tortured to death while in Egyptian police custody.