The prime minister of the Hamas government in Gaza has denied Israeli allegations that al Qaida operates in the coastal strip and that Palestinian militants had planned to carry out attacks in neighboring Egypt.
Ismail Haniyeh told reporters on Wednesday that such allegations are lies meant to prepare the ground for future Israeli attacks on Gaza. He says he sent a reassuring letter to Egypt's intelligence chief.
Israel's military believes that al Qaida operatives have infiltrated Gaza.
Israeli air strikes killed three Gaza militants last month who Israel said planned attacks in Egypt's Sinai peninsula.