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Hamas denies Mashaal's family summoned in Syria

Jan. 24, 2012 5:35 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 25, 2012 11:57 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Hamas on Tuesday denied reports that the wife and children of party leader Khalid Mashaal were summoned by police in Syria.

Arabic-language newspapers had reported that Mashaal's wife and children were summoned and that his daughter Fatima and her husband were detained.

Hamas accused Fatah and its affiliated media of fabricating the "latest lie" in order to thwart reconciliation between the parties.

The Islamist movement urged Fatah leader and President Mahmoud Abbas to restrain the "strange voices" which it said were trying to disrupt the Palestinian people.

The party said "Fatah media" had no respect and urged Egypt to rein it in. Egypt played a key role in brokering the reconciliation agreement between Hamas and Fatah, signed in Cairo in May 2011.

Earlier this month, the Arab League asked Mashaal to pass a message to Bashar Assad urging the Syrian President to end violence in the country after a bloody 10-month crackdown on anti-government protesters.

Hamas' politburo has been based in Damascus since it was forced out of Jordan in 1999 and Syria is one of Hamas' main regional allies, along with Iran.

However, Hamas' refusal to stage pro-Assad rallies in Palestinian refugee camps has angered the Syrian government. The party has repeatedly denied reports it is moving members out of Syria amid unrest against the regime.
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