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Palestinian President's Comments Infuriate Hamas

  • VOA News

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his foreign minister Riyad al-Maliki (R) arrive for an Arab League Foreign Ministers emergency meeting at the league's headquarters in Cairo, Sept. 7, 2014.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his foreign minister Riyad al-Maliki (R) arrive for an Arab League Foreign Ministers emergency meeting at the league's headquarters in Cairo, Sept. 7, 2014.

Hamas is accusing Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas of trying to sabotage a reconciliation agreement, after he accused the Islamist group of running a "shadow government" in Gaza.

Hamas officials were angered by Abbas' warnings Saturday and Sunday that he would scrap the unity deal if they refused to end their de facto control of the Gaza Strip.

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhum said Abbas was trying “to destroy the reconciliation and play into the hands of the Americans and the Israelis.”

The dispute comes two weeks after a 50-day conflict between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza ended with a cease-fire agreement.

Throughout the conflict, Hamas and Fatah put up a united front, working side-by-side to further indirect truce talks with Israel in Cairo, which resulted in the open-ended cease-fire that took effect on August 26.

The Palestinian reconciliation agreement in April led to the formation of a government of national consensus. The government took office on June 2 and Gaza's Hamas government formally stepped down.

Hamas forcibly took over the Gaza Strip in 2007, ousting forces loyal to Abbas.

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