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Abbas condemns Tel Aviv blast, Hamas defends it

By Staff
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RAMALLAH, West Bank, Apr 17 (Reuters) Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned a suspected suicide bombing in Tel Aviv today but a spokesman for Hamas, which runs the Palestinian government, defended the attack.

In a statement issued by his office, Abbas said the bombing ran counter to Palestinian interests and urged the Quartet of major mediating powers to intervene ''to stop the grave deterioration that the region is witnessing now.'' Hamas official spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri called the attack ''a natural result of the continued Israeli crimes against our people.'' ''The Israeli occupation bears responsibility for the continuation of its aggression. Our people are in a state of self-defence and they have every right to use all means to defend themselves,'' he added.

Reuters SI GC1807

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