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Was Abbas Behind Israel’s Deadly Gaza Offensive?

It is being reported on Arabic language sites that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s decision to defer discussion of the Goldstone report, which sparked protests in Palestine, may have been due to his own culpability in Israel’s war in Gaza. … Read More

By / October 9, 2009

It is being reported on Arabic language sites that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s decision to defer discussion of the Goldstone report, which sparked protests in Palestine, may have been due to his own culpability in Israel’s war in Gaza.

New video evidence suggests that Abbas and the Palestinian Authority collaborated with Israel and pressured it to continue Operation Cast Lead, which left more than 1,000 Gazans dead.

According to the recordings, originally reported by the Palestinian Al Shehab news agency, Mahmoud Abbas spoke with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak and former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and encouraged the Israeli military to continue Operation Cast Lead in Gaza. The report indicates that Abbas pressured Barak, who seemed indecisive. In another recording, Palestinian Authority Secretary General Tayeb Abdel Rahim reportedly said in response to the warning by Dov Weisglas, director of the Israeli Chiefs of Staff bureau, that further attacks could kill thousands: "All of them voted for Hamas, so they chose their fate, not us."

Abdel Rahim reportedly told Weisglas in a conversation that the conditions were ripe for the Israeli army to enter refugee camps in Gaza, and that the invasion would "force [Hamas] to raise the white flag."

The report says that Israel used these recordings as leverage during negotiations regarding the Goldstone report by threatening to expose them to the media and present them to the United Nations. The Palestinian Authority’s decided to suspend action on the inquiry by withdrawing a draft resolution to the UNHCR in support of Goldstone’s report. The move by the Palestinian Authority was met with confusion from the international community and massive outcry from Palestinians. For the first time, an Israeli Arab political party, Balad, called for Abbas to resign, in a direct challenge to Palestinian Authority leadership.

 

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