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Abbas says Hamas in Gaza Alliance with Qaeda - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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CAIRO (AFP) — Hamas has helped Al-Qaeda militants enter the Islamist-controlled Gaza Strip and formed an alliance with them, Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas was quoted as saying on Wednesday.

“Al-Qaeda is present in Gaza and I’m convinced that they (Hamas) are their allies,” Abbas said in an interview with the London-based pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat.

“I can say without doubt say that Al-Qaeda is present in the Palestinian territories and that this presence — especially in Gaza — is facilitated by Hamas,” he said.

Israel has claimed in the past that Al-Qaeda was present in the Gaza Strip, where Hamas militants in June violently routed forces loyal to Abbas’s secular Fatah faction.

In January, militants from a hitherto unknown group claiming links to Al-Qaeda ransacked a private school in the Gaza Strip.

A statement signed by the “Army of Believers, Al-Qaeda in Palestine Organisation” was left behind at the American International School after the attack.

The Army of Islam, which also claims links to Al-Qaeda, kidnapped BBC journalist Alan Johnston in 2007 and held him hostage for 114 days. The group also took part in the capture of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in June 2006.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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