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Peace negotiations shouldn't be hindered by Hamas coup in Gaza:
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08:09, July 11, 2007

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Chief Palestinian Negotiator Saeb Erekat said on Tuesday that Hamas' military coup in Gaza shouldn't hinder any peace negotiation that would end the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories.

Erekat's remarks were made in a statement issued by the Negotiations Affairs Department of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) after his meeting with Richard S. Gordon, head of the American Jewish Congress, in the West Bank city of Jericho.

"The coup that was carried out in Gaza should not be an obstacle to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital alongside with the state of Israel," said Erekat.

The statement said Erekat stressed the importance of "stopping the Israeli settlement activities, the construction of the separation wall, military incursions, and assassinations and Israel's imposing facts on ground."

Erekat called on Hamas movement to annul all the measures it had taken after it violently took control of security headquarters in Gaza including President Mahmoud Abbas' home and office compound.

"The results of the military coup in the Gaza Strip must end. Gaza security should be brought back under the command of the president's legitimacy," said Erekat.

He also urged the international community "to exert all possible efforts to solve the crisis of 6,000 Palestinians stranded at the Egyptian side of Rafah border crossing as soon as possible."

About 6,000 Palestinians have been blocked at the Rafah crossing terminal on the Gaza-Egyptian border, which has been shut for nearly a month since the Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip.

It was reported that 11 of the stranded Palestinians have died from the deteriorating humanitarian conditions.

Source: Xinhua

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