Hamas not to give Gaza facilities to Abbas

The Hamas movement pledges not to give up the security compounds of forces loyal to President Mahmoud Abbas.
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Updated on Jul 20, 2007 11:04 AM IST
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None | ByDPA, Gaza City

The Hamas movement has pledged not to give up the security compounds and facilities of forces loyal to President Mahmoud Abbas it had taken control of June 14.

The pledge was made by Mahmoud Zahar, a senior Hamas leader in Gaza, in a news conference held on Thursday to respond to an earlier speech by Abbas.

"Hamas doesn't beg for talks with Abu Mazen," Zahar said, using Abbas' popular name and referring to the Fatah leader's preconditions for dialogue.

Restoring the Palestinian Authority's compounds, which Hamas seized after taking over the Gaza Strip, was a key condition made by Abbas for talks.

Zahar also pledged to foil a goal that Abbas and his aides have often sought - early presidential and legislative elections before Hamas' four-year term in parliament ends.

On Wednesday, Abbas renewed his conditions in a fiery speech before the Palestinian Central Council, attacking Hamas harshly.

Zahar said Abbas' statements "have met (US) President (George W) Bush's method of bypassing the Palestinian interests".

Zahar accused Abbas, whose forces were defeated in the Gaza fighting, of tightening the grip on the territory to punish Hamas. "He (Abbas) is responsible for the suffering of 6,000 people stranded on the Egyptian border," Zahar said.

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