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Israel says Hamas hatching terrorist attacks to subvert dialogue

RIA Novosti

27/08/2007 12:26 TEL AVIV, August 27 (RIA Novosti) - Radical elements in the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas may attempt to undermine Palestinian-Israeli dialogue by staging a series of high-profile terrorist attacks, Israeli security services said Monday.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will meet Tuesday to continue discussing principles needed to resolve the bilateral conflict, local radio said Monday.

"There are efforts by Khaled Meshal [Hamas' Damascus-based political bureau chief] and the Hamas leadership abroad to formulate a plan to undermine the diplomatic efforts between Abbas and Israel," the Haaretz daily quoted a senior security official as saying.

Hamas officials denied the allegations.

The paper quoted a political adviser to Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, Ahmad Yousef, as saying that the assessments that the group is intensifying efforts to undermine the diplomatic dialogue between Israel and the Palestinian Authority through a series of spectacular terrorist attacks are inaccurate.

"There is no change in the Hamas position. Israel is threatening us and attacking us - we are only responding to provocations. But we do not intend to initiate any action, like the resumption of suicide bombings," Yousef said.

But Fawzi Barhum, a Hamas spokesman in Gaza, told Haaretz that the organization intends to use any means to achieve its aims.

The Gaza Strip has been under Hamas control since winning a series of street battles earlier in the year, fracturing the already fragile Palestinian government and leading to a Western boycott of the enclave.

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