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Abbas to Hamas: Give up Gaza

Mahmoud Abbas ruled out reconciliation talks with Hamas as long as it continues to control the Gaza Strip.

The Palestinian Authority president said Wednesday he would stand firm in his decision to shun Hamas after the radical Islamist group routed forces from his Fatah faction in Gaza in June.

“If Hamas wants dialogue, it must undo everything it did in the Gaza Strip,” Abbas told reporters after meeting Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Alexandria.

“Hamas has helped all the enemies of the Palestinian people and anyone who is not interested in seeing a Palestinian state arise,” he said.

With Gaza now effectively a Hamas fiefdom, Abbas’ mandate is limited to the West Bank. Foreign powers speak of dealing with the two territories as separate entities.

Hamas, which described its Gaza takeover as a pre-emption of a Fatah-led coup, says it still recognizes Abbas as P.A. president and wants to govern jointly with him.

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