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Hamas rejects reports of secret talks with Israel

RIA Novosti

23/03/2008 15:48 AMMAN, March 23 (RIA Novosti) - The militant group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, rejected on Sunday the report by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas that it was holding secret talks with Israel.

It was reported in some Arab mass media that Israel was preparing to kill all the Hamas leaders in the Gaza Strip.

"The information that talks are under way with Israel to protect the Hamas leaders is ungrounded and is being disseminated by the Palestinian authorities on the West Bank to the detriment of the other side," the militant group said in a statement obtained by RIA Novosti.

In June, Islamist group Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip after a series of clashes with Abbas' Fatah movement.

The West Bank is controlled by Abbas and receives financial assistance from the West, while the Gaza Strip is fully isolated and is boycotted by the Palestinian National Administration (PNA), the U.S. and Israel.

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