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Abbas accuses Hamas of assassination plot

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas accuses Hamas' exiled leader Khaled Meshaal of trying to assassinate him.

world Updated: Jun 21, 2007 12:33 IST

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has accused Hamas' exiled leader Khaled Meshaal, based in Damascus, of plotting to assassinate him.

Abbas was addressing members of the Central Council of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), which was held in this West Bank city Wednesday to discuss the situation in the Gaza Strip after Hamas militants controlled it.

Abbas revealed he watched videotape showing a group of Hamas militants discussing to plant 250 kg of explosives on the route to his Gaza office during a previous round of infighting last month.

Abbas claimed Meshaal was to give the final instruction to detonate the bomb as his convoy passed by to his office in Gaza City.

"When I saw the video, I decided to cancel my visit to the Gaza Strip in May," Abbas said, adding that his visit to Gaza at that time was aimed at to agree on a cease-fire with sacked Prime Minister Ismail Haneya of Hamas.

Meanwhile, Abbas declared the Hamas-controlled parliament as disabled and replaced it with the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Central Council (PCC).

Abbas accused Hamas of blocking the work of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) for more than six months.

However, Hamas - which won parliamentary elections in early 2006 - says most of its lawmakers have been abducted and held by Israel.

Abbas also ruled out any talks with Hamas, describing members of the Islamic movement as "murderers, coup seekers and outlaws".

Following Gaza's fall to Hamas on June 14, Abbas dissolved the Fatah-Hamas unity government that had assumed office on March 17.

On Sunday, Abbas swore in an emergency cabinet without Hamas in Ramallah, which was rejected by Hamas as "illegitimate."