Israel denies any contacts with Hamas
|Friday, October 26,2007 18:09|
In response to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s remarks in Amman today that Israel has recently made contacts with Hamas, Israeli defense ministry official, Shlomo Dor, denied such contacts have been underway, a according to Israeli online Daily Haaretz.
Haaretz reported that Abbas told reporters following meetings with Jordanian officials today, that Israeli officials have been holding meetings with Hamas in the northern Gaza Strip area of Eritz, known as Beit Hanoun crossing, aimed at easing the Israeli blockade of Gaza, placed since June.
Abbas told the Dubai-based Al-Arabiya television that he has been aware of such meetings in Eritz and that there are others meetings in other places, yet he gave no further details, according to Haaretz.
The online daily quoted the defense official as saying “this is absolutely untrue, we don’t have any meetings with Hamas. Indeed, there is a strict policy of avoiding all contacts with Hamas”.
The official pointed out that the last meeting with Palestinians involved business people who have no links with Hamas.
Former Israeli internal security chief, Amy Ya’aloun, has recently recommended that there should be a dialogue with the Islamist group in Gaza.
Last month, Israel declared the Gaza Strip a ‘hostile entity’, where Hamas has been wresting control since its mid June takeover of the coastal region amidst fighting with President Abbas’s security forces of Fatah.
The Israeli cabinet’s decision came in the backdrop of Israeli repeated attempts to prevent Palestinian resistance groups, involving Hamas, from firing homemade shells onto nearby Israeli towns.
Hamas, which won last January’s parliamentary elections, refuses to recognize Israel, renounce violence and accept past signed agreements.