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Iranian invitation splits Palestinians | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — The Palestinian foreign minister says President Mahmoud Abbas will not participate at the summit of non-aligned nations in Iran at the end of the month if Hamas also attends.

Riad Malki said Saturday the Palestinian Authority is seeking clarifications from Iran after Hamas announced it had been invited to the August summit and that Hamas’ prime minister Ismail Haniyeh would attend.

Malki said Abbas will not attend if Hamas is taking part.

Abbas’ secular, Western-backed Fatah party and the militant Islamic Hamas are bitter rivals. Violence between the two sides in 2007 left the Palestinians divided with Hamas ruling Gaza and Fatah governing the West Bank. Repeated attempts for reconciliation have failed.

Iran is a major supporter of Hamas.