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Hamas dismisses resignation call
by Al Jazeera (reposted)
Saturday Dec 2nd, 2006 11:28 AM
The governing Palestinian group Hamas has dismissed a call for the resignation of the government made by the Palestinian Liberation Organisation.
A Hamas spokesman, Fawzi Barhoum, described the call as "a coup."

It comes following an apparent breakdown in talks between Hamas and Fatah over the formation of a unity government.

Palestinian security officials have also accused Israel of violating a fragile ceasefire in Gaza, saying that an Israeli navy vessel fired on Palestinian fishing boats on Saturday.

The Israeli military denied the incident, saying that the navy had not fired on the boats.

"This is a coup," Barhoum said on Saturday.

"We cannot accept such a step, which is against Palestinian democracy and goes against the election results. The PLO doesn't represent the Palestinian people."

Haniyeh, who left last week for a tour of the Arab world, has told the Palestinian president and head of Fatah, Mahmoud Abbas, that in the past he would only step down once agreement has been reached on a new government.

EU meetings

On Saturday, Abbas met with a string of European dignitaries in Gaza to brief them on the internal disagreements among the Palestinians and a nascent truce with Israel in the Gaza Strip.