Abbas: Hamas could've prevented 'massacre'

PA president slams group in Cairo address; Egyptian FM: Hamas preventing wounded from passing to Egypt.

Abbas worried sad 248.88 (photo credit: AP [file])
Abbas worried sad 248.88
(photo credit: AP [file])
Hamas could have prevented the "massacre" in the Gaza Strip, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Sunday in Cairo. "We spoke to them and told them 'Please, we ask you not to end the cease-fire. Let it continue,'" Abbas said during a joint press conference with Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit. "We want to protect the Gaza Strip. We don't want it to be destroyed." Abbas called on Hamas to renew the cease-fire with Israel to avoid further bloodshed in Gaza. Aboul Gheit also attacked Hamas, saying the group had prevented people wounded in the Israeli offensive from passing into Egypt to receive medical attention. "We are waiting for the wounded Palestinians to reach Egypt. They aren't being allowed to go through," he said. Asked who was to blame for the dire situation in Gaza, the foreign minister replied: "Ask the party that controls Gaza." He added that the meeting of Arab foreign ministers meeting in Cairo Wednesday should call on Hamas to extend the truce. Meanwhile, Egypt summoned the Israeli ambassador on Sunday to brief officials in Cairo about the Israeli military action.