Hamas leader pleads to Arab leaders to help the Gaza Strip

The exiled leader of Hamas appealed to Arab leaders and his rival, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, on Sunday asking them to forget their differences and help the beleaguered Gazans, who saw Gaza City plunge into darkness after Israel blocked a shipment of fuel that powers its only electrical plant. The plea was a rare show of emotion for the hard-line Khaled Mashaal, who lives in exile in Damascus, Syria. "All Arab leaders, exercise real pressure to stop this Zionist crime ... take up your role and responsibility," he told Al-Jazeera satellite TV in a live interview from Syria. "We are not asking you to wage a military war against Israel ... but just stand with us in pride and honor." Mashaal said he had been in contact Sunday with some Arab countries including Egypt and Saudi Arabia to see if they would pressure Israel. He also said he asked Egypt if it would provide fuel to Gaza plant. Egyptian officials were not immediately available for comment.