Abbas determined to isolate Hamas

Says group has committed "crimes against everything Palestinians stand for."

June 29, 2007 17:10
1 minute read.
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The Palestinian Authority is determined to isolate Hamas in the aftermath of its violent takeover of the Gaza Strip, and is supporting Lebanese efforts to root out extremists in Palestinian refugee camps, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas said Friday. Abbas, appearing on a podium alongside Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, said Hamas had committed "crimes, murder and aggression against everything Palestinians stand for" in its takeover earlier this month of the Gaza Strip. The Palestinian government, which is now in control only of the West Bank, is "determined to isolate the coup d'etat, delegitimize all militias and to enforce law and order over all parts of the Palestinian territory," he told a meeting of the Socialist International, an organization that brings together left-wing political parties from around the world. Abbas expressed similar scorn for the al-Qaida-affiliated militants who have battled Lebanese troops from their base in a Palestinian refugee camp in the north of that country. "The Lebanese army, with our full support, is trying to uproot the militias and gangsters who are exploiting the name of Palestine," Abbas said. Talabani also focused his speech on threats posed by extremists, asking socialist parties from around the world to support Iraq's government in its fight against terrorism. "Iraq is coming under an external invasion of terrorists from all parts of the Arab world, from the Maghreb, Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Syria," he told delegates. "Iraq has now become an arena for the conniving of most of these governments against our people." Iraq's democratic government, Talabani said, is making neighboring countries fearful because it could "inspire the people of the Middle East to ask for the democracy that they are deprived of." Animosity toward Iraq's Shiites and Kurds, as well as the potential power of a united Iraq, is also causing neighboring countries to "oppose a federal and democratic Iraq," he said.

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