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Hamas to break economic contact from Israel

The move will include rerouting the goods, including fuel supplies to Gaza through Egypt.

world Updated: Feb 01, 2008 15:58 IST

A top Hamas official in the Gaza Strip said his organisation is looking to completely cut all economic contact with Israel.

In an interview with the Palestinian news agency Maan, Ahmed Yousef, a former advisor to Hamas leader Ismail Haniya, said the move will include trying to reroute goods, including fuel supplies, to Gaza through Egypt.

The plan will push for an end to the enclave's 40 years of contact with, and dependency on, Israel, by tightening ties with "Arab and Islamic countries", he said.

He also said Hamas "insists on having a role in the management" of the Gaza Strip's southern Rafah border crossing with Egypt.

Another Hamas leader, Mahmoud al-Zahar, in Cairo for talks with Egyptian officials over the border chaos created last week when militants blew holes in the wall between Gaza and the Sinai peninsula, also told the Al-Jazeera channel that his movement was seeking more control.

He said Hamas is willing to share the responsibility for the border with the Presidential Guard of rival Mahmoud Abbas from the Fatah faction, along with a European Union supervision team, but that it will not allow for Israel to have any control over the crossing.

It remains doubtful that the Europeans, who have boycotted Hamas over its refusal to recognise Israel and renounce violence, would agree to work with the Islamic group.