On the second day of the Gaza War, PMW released the text of the speech by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, in which he blamed Hamas for the start of
the hostilities. He lamented that the violence in the Gaza Strip could have been avoided had Hamas not violated the ceasefire. Owing to its importance PMW has subtitled the speech and made it available for viewing.
Following is the transcript of the speech given at a joint press conference with Egyptian Foreign Minster Ahmad Abu al-Gheit:
"I say in all honesty, we made contact with leaders of Hamas in the Gaza Strip. We spoke with them in all honesty and directly, and after that we spoke with them indirectly, through more than one Arab and non-Arab party... We spoke with them on the telephone and we said: 'We beg of you, we hope that you won't break [the ceasefire]. As the [Egyptian foreign] Minister said: "Don't break the ceasefire, the ceasefire must continue and not stop," in order to avoid [violence] that has happened. If only we had avoided it."
[PA TV, Dec. 28, 2008]