Abbas defends Gaza vote delay
Meshaal’s comments came shortly after Abbas defended the decision to delay the endorsement of the Goldstone report on Gaza war crimes at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, saying it was intended to draw adequate votes for its adoption.
Abbas has been sharply criticised for the delay by Palestinians who want to see Israeli officials put on trial for war crimes documented in the UN-sponsored report compiled by Richard Goldstone, a former South African judge.
The report also accuses Hamas of war crimes in the war that lasted 22 days between December and January and left about 1,300 Palestinians and 13 Israelis dead, but Israel takes much of the blame.
‘Wave of anger’
Meshaal said “we are in a quagmire of problems”, adding that there was a “wave of anger and now it is impossible to hold a reconciliation meeting [between Hamas and Fatah]”.
But he said Hamas was “determined to achieve our rights and resistance will remain our strategic option … We won’t accept any settlement on our land; we won’t accept any illegitimate occupiers”.
“We want to reorganise reconciliation; it is still on the table and in this conetxt I would like to send a message to our Egyptian brothers and our Arab brothers. We are angry becuase of what is happening to our people. Do not say we have embarrassed you,” said Meshaal.
Egypt has been at the forefront of pushing a unity deal between Hamas, which runs the Gaza Strip, and Fatah, headed by Abbas and based in the West Bank.
After the storm that was generated by the October 2 delay of the vote on the Goldstone report, Hamas said it had asked Egypt’s intelligence chief to put off the reconciliation deal until November.
Egypt had earlier said the two Palestinian groups would sign a unity pact on October 25.