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PA daily editor criticizes Hamas for admitting responsibility for kidnapping Israeli teens and bolstering Israel’s position

Editorial by Mahmoud Abu Al-Haija, Editor-in-Chief of Al-Hayat Al-Jadida:
     “When Hamas leadership member Saleh Al-Arouri announced from Turkey that Hamas had carried out the ‘operation’ of the kidnapping and murder of the three settlers (i.e., the kidnapping ‎and murder of the three Israeli teens), we had nearly suppressed the Israeli version of this affair. Based on this version, Israel waged its unjustified war, not only against the Gaza Strip, but, and especially, against all of Palestine and its national project, with the intention of destroying it, so that it would be able to take over the West Bank with its settlements, and the independent Palestinian state will become nothing more than a Palestinian dream. This is what Hamas still fails to perceive! We say: The Israeli version regarding Hamas’ responsibility for the kidnapping of the three settlers would have collapsed, had ‘Hamas leadership member’ Saleh Al-Arouri not thrown it a lifeline...
Moreover, he went [further] and confirmed its validity, thereby enabling Avichay Adraee, the Israeli army spokesman, to boast of this and write on his internet sites and declare everywhere: ‘Isn’t this what we told you?’ Israel seized the Muslim Brotherhood’s gift, increased its military aggression against the Gaza Strip and then assassinated three of the senior leaders of the Al-Qassam [Brigades’] (Hamas’ military wing)! Are Al-Arouri’s statements not in fact a gift? ...
Why make these statements (i.e., acknowledging that Hamas carried out the kidnapping and murder of the three Israeli teens) when more than 40 days have passed since the aggression [against Gaza began]? What is the use or the purpose of confirming and strengthening the Israeli version? Al-Arouri’s statements are in fact grievous on more than one level, especially in terms of the political, technical and political use Israel will make of them, considering they will serve as a document in its defense record in the International Criminal Court, which we are hoping to reach.
We believe that the Hamas leadership, especially the political bureau, should have a word to say about this, at least to the relatives of the victim Martyrs (Shahids) in Gaza, the wounded, and those whose homes were destroyed and who have become displaced – a word of [either] denial, explanation or justification. Perhaps then they will understand the [meaning] of the ‘victory’ dances in the streets of Gaza, from which the blood of their Martyred and wounded loved ones has not yet dried.”
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