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The Hamas seizure of the Gaza Strip was a mistake, said a former spokesman for the Islamist group.

In a letter posted on the rival Fatah Web site, Ghazi Hamad said the takeover resulted in too high a price in international isolation and tight economic sanctions, causing more suffering for the Palestinian people.

“I consider it a serious strategic mistake that burdened the movement with more than it can bear,” Hamad wrote.

The letter was not intended for publication, a Palestinian official told Reuters.

Hamad, considered a moderate, stepped down from his government post after Hamas defeated Fatah security forces in Gaza last summer.

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