Following is an excerpt from a speech delivered by PA President Mahmoud Abbas at the Arab American University in Jenin. The speech aired on Palestinian Authority TV on October 13, 2009.
Mahmoud Abbas: When the [Israeli] aggression took place, [Hamas leaders] in Gaza and abroad said: “We don’t care if Gaza is erased.” They do not care if Gaza is erased. All they care about is that the Hamas movement continue to exist. They said this. Haniya and Mash’al said: We don’t care what happens. Mash’al went even further and said: “What is happening in Gaza is insignificant and does not affect us.” Then they said that the Hamas movement is alive and well. This was at a time when there were thousands of martyrs from among our people, thousands of wounded from among our people, and tens of thousands of destroyed houses. To this day, 100,000 Palestinians in Gaza are homeless, with no place to live. Yet the Hamas movement is alive and well. The Hamas movement was hiding under the domes [of mosques]. The Hamas leaders – and I say this for the first time – fled to the Sinai in ambulances, leaving their people behind to be slaughtered. Then they say: We put up resistance.