The Palestinian Authority (PA), whose leaders say they are planning to file "war crimes" charges against Israel over its last war with Hamas, is now calling on Arab countries to launch a military strike against the Gaza Strip, similar to the Saudi-led campaign against Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen.
The call to launch an Arab military strike against the Gaza Strip was made by Mahmoud Habbash, a senior advisor to PA President Mahmoud Abbas.
Commenting on the Saudi-led military operations in Yemen, Habbash, who also holds the post of Chief Islamic Judge, said in a Friday sermon at a mosque in Ramallah: "Protecting legitimacy in an Arab country is a duty of all Arab leaders. They must take the initiative to strike with an iron fist against those who come out against legitimacy, regardless of the time and place, starting from Palestine. What happened in the Gaza Strip was a [Hamas] coup. There should be no dialogue with those behind the coup and they must be hit with an iron fist."
The following day, Abbas himself hinted that he too would like to see the Arab states launch a military campaign against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
Addressing the 26th Arab League Summit in the Egyptian resort of Sharm al-Sheikh, Abbas declared: "I hope the Arab states carry out the same policy that they are in Yemen in the case of all Arab nations that suffer from internal conflicts -- such as Palestine, Syria, Libya and Iraq."
When Israel launched Operation Protective Edge in the summer of last year in response to the firing of rockets at Israeli cities, the Palestinian Authority and its leaders, including Abbas, were quick to condemn Israelis for allegedly perpetrating "war crimes" against Palestinians.
But now the same Palestinian Authority, which condemned Israel over Operation Protective Edge, is calling on Arab armies to launch a military campaign against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
For Abbas and his top advisors, it is fine if the Gaza Strip is attacked, so long as Israel is not the attacker. In fact, the PA is inviting the Arab states to do exactly what the Israel Defense Forces did in the summer of 2014: to launch airstrikes against terror bases belonging to Hamas and other radical groups inside the Gaza Strip.
If anything, the appeal to Arab countries to extend their airstrikes from Yemen to the Gaza Strip smacks of hypocrisy.
If the Palestinian Authority openly favors military action against Hamas, why was it opposed to Israel's use of force to destroy the Islamist movement's rocket launchers and ammunition? And why is the PA leadership now planning to file "war crimes" charges against Israel at a time when it, too, is calling on Arab countries to attack the Gaza Strip?
Obviously, the PA believes it is acceptable for an army or armies to attack the Gaza Strip, on condition that it is not the Israel Defense Forces trying to stop Hamas's rocket attacks.
The PA wants the Arabs to attack the Gaza Strip not in order to stop the rocket attacks against Israel. Rather, it wants the Arab armies to help it in its efforts to remove Hamas from power so that the PA will be able to return to the Gaza Strip, from where it was expelled in 2007.
It is not clear at this stage if any Arab countries will accept the Palestinian Authority's invitation to launch a military strike against the Gaza Strip. Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the Gulf States are too busy trying to stop Iran and its puppets from seizing control of more Arab countries. They are also too busy fighting the growing threat from the Islamic State terrorist group.
But what is clear, meanwhile, is that the PA is continuing to show its true colors by condemning Israel for using military force against Hamas on the one hand, while urging Arabs to use military force against Hamas on the other hand.
The Palestinian Authority's call for an Arab military strike against Hamas has sparked a wave of protests in the Palestinian territories. Thousands of Palestinians marched in the Gaza Strip, chanting slogans denouncing Abbas and calling on him to step down.
The PA's call for military intervention in the Gaza Strip should be brought to the attention of the International Criminal Court if and when Abbas proceeds with his plan to file "war crimes" charges against Israel for its 2014 war against Hamas. This call should also be brought to the attention of Western governments and international human rights organizations that condemned Israel during Operation Protective Edge.
What they need to know is that Abbas in fact supports military action against Hamas, but has a problem when it is carried out by Israel. Arabs are allowed to attack the Gaza Strip to remove Hamas from power, while Israel is not even allowed to launch airstrikes against those who are firing rockets at its cities. They also need to ask Abbas whether he also plans to file "war crimes" charges against his Arab brethren once they start bombing the Gaza Strip.