A Hamas official told The Jerusalem Post that the reason why security installations in the Gaza Strip had not been evacuated before the attack was because the Egyptians had assured his movement that there would be no Israeli attack in the coming days.For once, there might actually be something to the accusation. Consider this.
"Only hours before the attack, the Egyptians told our representatives that they were under the impression that Israel would not launch an operation," the Hamas official said. "We believe the Egyptians deliberately deceived us because they had given Israel a green light to attack."
Another Hamas official told the Post that Abbas and his top aides had long been urging Israel to bring down the Hamas government so that they could return to the Gaza Strip.
The official pointed out that both Abbas and the Egyptians had announced shortly before the Israeli attack that they were engaged in attempts to resume "national dialogue" between Fatah and Hamas.
"The Egyptians even made it clear to us that they had convinced Israel not to attack the Gaza Strip," he said. "Abbas also wanted to reassure Hamas by talking about his intention to renew the reconciliation talks with us."
Taher a-Nunu, spokesman for the Hamas government, accused "third parties" of involvement in the Israeli effort to overthrow Hamas. However, he refused to name the third parties.
A Hamas minister later said that the spokesman was referring to Egypt and the PA.
While Barak was working out the final details with the officers responsible for the operation, Livni went to Cairo to inform Egypt's president, Hosni Mubarak, that Israel had decided to strike at Hamas.Would Mubarak sell out Hamas? You bet he would.
In parallel, Israel continued to send out disinformation in announcing it would open the crossings to the Gaza Strip and that Olmert would decide whether to launch the strike following three more deliberations on Sunday - one day after the actual order to launch the operation was issued.
"Hamas evacuated all its headquarter personnel after the cabinet meeting on Wednesday," one defense official said, "but the organization sent its people back in when they heard that everything was put on hold until Sunday."
Cross-posted to Israel Matzav.