Egypt to Mashaal: Call off attacks

In a telephone conversation with expatriate Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal, Omar Suleiman, head of Egyptian intelligence, demanded that Mashaal's fighters hold their fire and desist from attacks on PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas' presidential compound, Israel Radio reported Wednesday. Suleiman also spoke with Abbas in an attempt to bring an end to the fierce insurgence of violence in the Palestinian Authority territories. According to the report, Cairo blamed external elements with igniting the fighting, hinting that Iran was behind the escalation in Gaza. In an interview with the London based Al-Hayat , senior Fatah official Samir Mashharawi was more explicit in his claims that both Syria and Iran were behind Hamas's attempted coup. In the interview, cited by Israel Radio, Mashharawi claimed that the two countries had transferred millions of dollars to Hamas, and that the Islamic group was using the money against the Palestinians people in trying to establish a "Hamas state" in the Gaza Strip.