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Home >> World
UPDATED: 07:58, January 22, 2007
Haneya accuses U.S. of plotting to topple Hamas government
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Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haneya on Sunday accused the United States of working to topple the Hamas-led government that took office after last year's parliamentary elections.

"They (Americans) wanted to punish the Palestinian people for their free and fair choices," said Haneya, who is also a senior Hamas leader, referring to last January's elections when Hamas won with a landslide victory and defeated the long-dominant Fatah movement led by moderate President Mahmoud Abbas.

Haneya hurled accusations at Israel as well, saying the Jewish state and the United States are obstructing the formation of a national unity government and pushing the Palestinian people to a civil war.

Meanwhile, Haneya confirmed that President Abbas would meet Hamas politburo chief Khaled Mashaal tonight in the Syrian capital of Damascus to try to reach a deal on forming a new coalition government acceptable to the world.

Abbas, who arrived in Damascus on Saturday, has met with Syria's President Bashar al-Asaad and is expected to meet Mashaal.

Hamas refuses to call the meeting a last chance effort. In Gaza, factions said a new round of inter-Palestinian talks would start on Tuesday to reach a deal that would call off Abbas' intention to hold early elections.

Away from the talks, Haneya said his government was looking to get a sovereign Palestinian statehood in the 1967 territories with Jerusalem as the capital and with refugees returning from diaspora.

Concerning the Jews, Haneya said: "We the Palestinians don't feud with the Jews because they are Jews, but because they are only an occupation power...we are heralds of peace, not war."

Hamas' charter calls for the destruction of Israel. This call has pushed the international community to boycott the Hamas-led government unless it meets demands to recognize Israel and renounce violence.

Source: Xinhua

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