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Mash'al denounces Abbas over Goldstone report delay

Oct. 3, 2009 4:08 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 5, 2009 9:47 A.M.)
Bethlehem - Ma'an - Hamas leader in exile Khaled Mash'al on Friday denounced President Mahmoud Abbas for withdrawing support for UN investigator Richard Goldstone's report on alleged war crimes in Gaza.

"We are shocked today," he said in Damascus on Friday evening. "This is a shame … the blood of children and women in Gaza will curse those who renounced Palestinian blood."

The Hamas leader's televised address came during an event marking the Arab League's recent designation of Jerusalem as the capital of Arab culture.

While criticizing the president over the PLO's stance toward the Goldstone report, Mash'al said Hamas was nonetheless determined to achieve a reconciliation deal with his Fatah rivals who control the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority.

Mash'al also congratulated the 19 women released from jail the same day in exchange for a video of captured soldier Gilad Shalit, asserting that the achievement should be attributed solely to Palestinian resistance. He said Hamas and others understood "the language" of Israeli leaders, and noted that the Islamic movement had demonstrated its ability to capture and hold prisoners for years at a time, and could do it again.
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