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Hamas’ terror does not represent wish of Palestinians: President Abbas

The actions and policies of Islamist Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, do not represent the Palestinian people, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Sunday.

According to the Palestinian news agency WAFA, Mr Abbas said this in a phone call with Venezuela’s authoritarian President Nicolás Maduro.

He called for the release of hostages and prisoners from both sides.

According to the report, he also advocated peaceful resistance to end Israel’s occupation.

The Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people must be stopped, Mr Abbas said.

Hundreds of militants crossed the border into Israel on October 7 on behalf of Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, and caused a massacre.

Israel has been attacking targets in the Gaza Strip ever since.

Militant Palestinians also keep firing rockets towards Israel.

Mr Abbas leads the Fatah faction within the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO).

Fatah and Hamas – the largest Palestinian organisations – have been at loggerheads since 2007, when Islamist Hamas seized power in the densely populated Gaza Strip.

Mr Abbas’s influence in the area has been considered low ever since.

There have been reconciliation talks between the two groups for years.

In his telephone conversation with Mr Maduro, however, Mr Abbas stressed that the PLO is the only legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.

Hamas is classified as a terrorist organisation by the European Union, the United States, and Israel. 

(dpa/NAN)

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