Abbas aide says Iran told Hamas to use violence in Gaza
An aide to Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas said on Monday Iran had encouraged 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.
Abbas swore in an emergency government on Sunday after Hamas's violent takeover of the Gaza Strip last week forced him to sack the Hamas-led unity government.
"We reject accusations by Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki that the formation of the emergency government is a step that is hostile to democracy. Iran has no right to give us lessons in democracy," Abed Rabbo, a senior Abbas aide, told Reuters.
Iran, which supports Hamas, blamed the United States and other foreign parties for the crisis between Hamas and secular Fatah, an Iranian news agency reported.
Mottaki said: "America and some foreign parties in the region are trying to increase clashes in Palestine, although individual movements of the Palestinian groups can make the current gap wider."
Iran was one of the few states which provided financial support to Hamas despite the international restrictions imposed on the government which it led.
Mottaki also called for calm between the Palestinian factions.
Despite Abbas's sacking of Ismail Haniyeh's three-month-old unity government, Haniyeh insists his administration is still legitimate.
The new emergency government has already received the backing of Western powers, Arab states and Israel, who have all vowed to lift economic sanctions.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Monday that the United States would resume direct aid.
The sanctions were imposed 15 months ago because Hamas refused to recognise Israel, end violence and abide by existing agreements between the parties.
The European Union also said it wants to resume direct aid to the Palestinian government but did not say when the funds would begin to flow.
Let the IDF stack em deep