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Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas attends the opening meeting of the Arab Summit in Sharm el-Sheikh.(Photo by: REUTERS)
Abbas: Israel and Hamas holding secret talks
Abbas: Secret talks are being held at a time when Hamas continues to issue “baseless accusations” against PA.
Israel and Hamas are holding secret talks over a number of issues, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was quoted as saying on Tuesday.

Abbas, who is visiting Jordan, was quoted by a number of media outlets there as saying during a dinner with Jordanian and Palestinian officials that he has a “full protocol” of the purported talks between Hamas and Israel.

According to Abbas, the secret talks are being held at a time when Hamas continues to issue “baseless accusations” against the PA.

The Amman-based Ad-Dustour newspaper reported that the negotiations between Hamas and Israel were focused on a variety of issues, including the possibility of establishing a seaport for the Gaza Strip.

The direct talks were being held in Israel and in some European capitals, the paper claimed, quoting unnamed Western diplomatic sources.

The two sides were also discussing the possibility of expanding the Gaza Strip’s borders into Sinai, the sources said.

Fatah spokesman Osama Qawassmeh urged Hamas to halt its “secret talks” with Israel, saying this was a dangerous transgression of the higher national interests of the Palestinians.

Qawassmeh claimed that Hamas was negotiating with Israel over political issues, first and foremost the establishment of a separate Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip.

Hamas responded to the allegations by denouncing Abbas as a “liar and slanderer.” His claims were aimed at creating confusion in the Palestinian arena, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said.
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