The Palestinian ambassador said that if Israel expanded the operation in Gaza, it must work to overthrow Hamas, instead of stopping in the middle, as it did in Operation Cast Lead in 2008. “If there should be a ground operation in Gaza, this time he expects to see [Hamas prime minister] Ismail Haniyeh and [high-ranking Hamas leader] Mahmoud al-Zahar in their underwear, as he put it,” the Israeli ambassador wrote, quoting his Palestinian colleague. “Otherwise, there is no sense in another operation, as big as it may be.”
Later on in the telegram, the Israeli ambassador repeated some harsh statements that the Palestinian ambassador had made against Hamas. “The Hamas offices that were destroyed are not important. The real offices are the mosques, which are connected to a widespread network of tunnels. Everything happens underground,” the Palestinian ambassador said. “Hamas has no regrets over the destruction in Gaza. On the contrary. Hamas gets a great deal of economic and political benefit from the terrible destruction because of the large donations that will come from the world and the political image of the organization that stands on the front line against Israel.”
The Palestinian ambassador continued his verbal attack on Hamas. “The call to open the Rafah border crossing is nothing but lip service,” he said. “Hamas has no problem with it being closed – that only adds to the profit Hamas makes from the tunnels…. The Arab world leans more in Hamas’ direction these days, and Egypt takes the lead in that. The Egyptian prime minister’s visit to Gaza would never have taken place in Mubarak’s time…. The Arabs’ pilgrimage to Gaza focuses attention exclusively on Hamas, which is accumulating points among the Palestinian public and in the Arab world.”
After venting his anger against Hamas, the Palestinian ambassador turned his criticism on the man who had appointed him to the position: Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. He claimed that Abbas and his advisers believe that the military operation in Gaza is a conspiracy to sabotage the Palestinian action in the United Nations.
This is how the Israeli ambassador described the Palestinian ambassador’s statements in his telegram to the Foreign Ministry: “Abu Mazen never troubled to bring the residents of Gaza close to him. He does not like Gaza, and if he could get rid of it, he would be happy to do so. Therefore, he is in no hurry to visit Gaza to show leadership and presence. The reason has nothing to do with security. He could have arranged such a visit with a foreign leader, thus making an unequivocal statement that Gaza is part of the future Palestinian state. Currently, this is not sufficiently clear, and time is working against the Palestinian Authority and its chairman. One way or another, Abu Mazen’s time is more or less up. The problem is who will replace him.”