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Hamas criticizes Egyptian statements over Palestinian reconciliation
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09:17, April 21, 2008

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The Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) on Sunday rejected Egyptian statements which did not encourage the participation of Hamas in a Palestinian unity government.

"We call on Egypt to reexamine these unacceptable statements which don't provide atmosphere for (Palestinian) national reconciliation," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said. Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit on Saturday said he ruled out Hamas' participation in a coalition government because such a move may hinder the Palestinian National Authority (PNA)'s efforts to achieve ceasefire with Israel.

In June, Hamas fought Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas'forces and took over the Gaza Strip bloodily. In response, Abbas sacked the Hamas-led national unity government in which his Fatah movement.

Israel stepped up military operations in the Hamas-ruled Gaza since mid June, and Egypt tried to mediate between the various parties to broker a ceasefire deal.

During his visit to Washington on Saturday, Abul Gheit revealed his country's vision of the ceasefire, including a period of calmness when Hamas has to stop firing rockets from Gaza into Israel while Israel ceases attacks against Palestinian fighters.


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