Saudi FM criticizes Palestinians

Associated Press - December 31, 2008 12:13 PM ET

CAIRO, Egypt (AP) - Saudi Arabia's foreign minister is blaming "Palestinian divisions" for Israel's onslaught on Gaza.

The official (Saud al-Faisal - sah-OOD' ahl fy-ZAHL') spoke at the opening of an emergency meeting of Arab foreign ministers in Cairo. He stopped short of directly criticizing Hamas, but it was clear his words were directed at the militant group.

His comments reflect pro-U.S. Arab governments' anger at Hamas, which took over the Gaza Strip in 2007.

Arab countries friendly to the U.S. -- Egypt, in particular -- have come under heavy criticism for allegedly not doing enough to stop Israel or help Gazans.

The Arab League foreign ministers are reviewing a proposal to end the Gaza fighting. The initiative calls for an immediate, unconditional halt to the Israeli assault, followed by a long-term truce between Hamas and Israel.

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