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Hamas denies it plans to kill Abbas

Story Highlights

• Hamas says it hasn't forgotten "attempted assassinations" against its leaders
• Abbas blasts Hamas leaders as "traitors"
• Abbas: Videotape shows militants planting a bomb they say was meant for him
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GAZA CITY (CNN) -- Hamas has denied Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' accusation that it is planning to assassinate him.

"Al-Qassam Brigades does not consider Mahmoud Abbas a target," Hamas spokesman Abu Obaida said Thursday night, referring to the group's militant wing. "There is no proof that we did, either with regards to Abbas or any other politician."

But Hamas, which has seized control in Gaza, said the group has not forgotten actions against its members, including Ismail Haniya, whom Abbas sacked as prime minister, and Mahmoud Al-Zahar, the former foreign minister.

"Nor have we forgotten the assassination of political leader Dr. Mahmoud al-Ajwa, whose killers fled to Ramallah and are known to Mahmoud Abbas and under his care," Obaida said.

In his first public address since he installed the new government last week, Abbas on Wednesday blasted Hamas leaders as "traitors," accusing them of planning the "bloody coup" in Gaza while participating in the unity government.

"We reject a monopoly of power by one group or faction," said Abbas, who heads the rival Fatah movement. He called on Hamas to apologize for the fighting in Gaza and hand over government offices to new Palestinian leaders.

Abbas said he received from a member of Hamas a videotape showing six militants planting a bomb, with some of them saying it was meant for him. He said he sent the video to Hamas' exiled political leader Khaled Mashaal in Damascus, Syria, who denied the plot before he saw the video.

Abbas, who is seeking support for his new government, called on the international community to "commit to an international peace conference by which Israeli and Palestinian negotiation will take place."

"We are a nation that can rise above the wounds," he said.

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