Egypt collaborated with Israel by deliberately misleading Hamas and allowing Tel Aviv to deal a blow to the movement, a report claims.
Citing diplomatic sources, the London-based daily al-Quds al-Arabi reported Sunday that Egyptian Intelligence Minister Omar Suleiman had deceived Hamas into believing that Israel would not launch an attack on the Gaza Strip in the near future.
According to the report, the misinformation lured Hamas into not evacuating its security compounds and headquarters.
Suleiman convinced a number of Arab leaders that Israel was intending to launch only limited operations into the Gaza Strip to mount pressure on Hamas ahead of signing a new ceasefire agreement, the report added.
Egypt told Hamas on Friday evening that Israel had agreed to begin talks on a ceasefire and would not attack Gaza before Cairo ended its diplomatic efforts, the daily quoted Hamas sources close to former Palestinian Foreign Minister Mahmoud al-Zahar as saying.
The report added that Egypt's assurance persuaded Hamas not to evacuate its security compounds in accordance with routine procedures in place after any threats by Israel.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit on Saturday blamed Hamas for provoking Israel into attacking the strip. "Egypt warned for a long time, and someone who ignores warnings is responsible for the outcome," said Gheit.
Israel launched a massive attack on the Gaze Strip on Saturday killing or wounding hundreds of people.
Sunday, 28 December 2008
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