Egypt accused of 'deceiving' Hamas
London-based newspaper quotes sources who say Egyptian
intelligence minister deliberately misled Palestinian organization about IDF
intentions; Hamas sources say this is why movement's compounds were not
"collaborated" with Israel in its Gaza attack and lulled Hamas into thinking the
Israel Defense Forces would not attack Gaza, the London-based Arabic-language
newspaper al-Quds al-Arabi reported Sunday.
The report, based on Arab diplomatic sources,
claims that Egyptian Intelligence Minister Omar Suleiman told a number of Arab
leaders that Israel was intending to attack the Gaza Strip in a limited manner
in order to pressure the Palestinian organization into agreeing to a renewed
According to the paper, Hamas was given a
The sources quoted in
the article asserted that Suleiman had told Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, during
her Thursday visit to Cairo, that it was important to avoid civilian casualties
during an military operation in Gaza, in order to avoid inciting the Arab
Hamas sources close to former Palestinian
Foreign Minister Mahmoud al-Zahar told the paper that Egypt told Hamas on Friday
evening that Israel had agreed to begin negotiations about a potential ceasefire
and would not attack Gaza before Cairo had attempted to settle the issue.
These sources noted that, in general, Hamas'
internal ministry orders the evacuation of its security compounds following any
Israeli threat of operative action. They had not done so this time based on
Egypt's assurance that Israel wouldn't attack and based on the assumption that
an IDF attack would not be launched on Saturday.