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Hamas slams Abbas support for Israel security coordination

June 18, 2014 3:08 P.M. (Updated: June 22, 2014 2:25 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (AFP) -- Hamas slammed President Mahmoud Abbas' support for security coordination with Israel on Wednesday, as Israel pursued a manhunt for three teens believed to have been kidnapped last Thursday.

"President Abbas' statements on security coordination with Israel are unjustified, harmful to Palestinian reconciliation ... and a psychological blow to the thousands of Palestinian prisoners suffering a slow death in the occupation's jails," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said.

"These statements are based solely on the Israeli narrative, without presenting any true information," Abu Zuhri added.

His comments came after Abbas said security coordination with Israel was in the Palestinians' "interest" and pledged there would be no new intifada, or uprising.

"Those who kidnapped the three teenagers want to destroy us. We will hold them accountable," Abbas told an Organization of Islamic Cooperation meeting in Jeddah.

"The three teens are human beings like us and they should be returned to their families," he added.

Abbas said he would be willing to start a new round of negotiations for 9 months if 30 veteran Palestinian prisoners detained before the Oslo Accords were released and Israel froze settlement construction for three months.

Any such talks should focus on agreeing on borders, he said, adding that the PA has been in contact with US officials about resuming talks.

Israel used the reconciliation deal between the PA and Hamas to foil peace talks, he added.

Since the teenagers disappeared on Thursday evening, Israeli troops have arrested some 240 Palestinians, mostly Hamas members, in mass raids across the occupied West Bank.

So far, there has been no formal claim of responsibility, and Hamas has dismissed Israel's accusations as "stupid."

It was Hamas' sharpest criticism of Abbas since the Islamist movement signed a unity deal with the PLO, which is dominated by Abbas' Fatah party, aiming to end seven years of rival administrations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has urged the international community to press Abbas to end his reconciliation deal with Hamas, citing the kidnapping as proof the movement's "terrorist" activities make it an unsuitable political partner.

On June 2, Abbas appointed a unity government made up of independents, which is committed to renouncing violence.

Ma'an staff contributed to this report
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