An aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Monday Iran had encouraged the Islamist group Hamas to use violence to take control of the Gaza Strip. "Iran supports non-democratic groups in Palestine, Lebanon and in Iraq and we hold Iran responsible for encouraging Hamas to carry out its coup in Gaza," Senior Palestinian official Yasser Abed Rabbo said.
A Hamas spokesman in Gaza said the charges were "weak and false". "The involvement of senior Fatah leaders with the occupation (Israel) has become clear and Abed Rabbo is trying to cover up for this by spreading weak and false allegations that will not fool the Palestinian people," Hamas's Sami Abu Zuhri said. (AP)