Tuesday, December 11, 2007

PA rips Saudis for hosting Mashaal

by Khaled Abu Toameh from The Jerusalem Post (Israel)

The Saudi invitation to the Hamas delegation was a "severe blow" to the PA's efforts to end the Hamas reign over the Gaza Strip, the PA officials told The Jerusalem Post. The officials were particularly enraged by the red-carpet welcome that Khaled Mashaal and his colleagues received upon their arrival in Saudi Arabia over the weekend. The Hamas delegation has met with several top Saudi officials and members of the royal family, including Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal. "Saudi Arabia has made a huge mistake by inviting Mashaal and his friends," said an official close to PA President Mahmoud Abbas. "The Arab states should boycott Hamas because of its violent coup in the Gaza Strip ... Hamas is doing its utmost to undermine the authority of President Mahmoud Abbas," he said. ... Apart from Mashaal, the Hamas delegation included Musa Abu Marzuk, the No. 2 man in Hamas, as well as Muhammad Naser and Sami Khater, members of the Hamas politburo. Naser said Monday the Saudis had invited him and his colleagues to brief them on the outcome of the Annapolis conference and to discuss ways of ending the power struggle between Hamas and Fatah. "We discussed with our Saudi brothers the issue of national unity and reconciliation," he said. "We also discussed the ongoing Israeli aggression against our people and the measures that the Palestinian leadership has been taking against Hamas."

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