Hamas warns Abbas against concessions to Israel

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GAZA, Nov 16 (Reuters) Hamas supporters rallied outside the official Gaza residence of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas today to lobby against giving ground to Israel at a meeting planned for Annapolis, Maryland at the end of the month.

Abbas has not set foot in the coastal enclave since Hamas Islamists routed his Western-backed forces in June, restricting Abbas's authority to the Israeli-occupied West Bank and posing a major complication to efforts to negotiate a peace with Israel.

Khalil al-Hayya, a Hamas leader, warned in a speech to the Gaza crowd of ''an explosion that will know no borders'' if Abbas, also known as Abu Mazen, softens positions on the status of Jerusalem and the right of Palestinian refugees to return home.

''We tell you, Abu Mazen, there is no good in you if you make concessions over al-Aqsa mosque, there is no good in you if you concede any fixed Palestinian rights,'' Hayya said.

Abbas, who called on Thursday for Hamas to be ''brought down'' in Gaza, has made no indication of concessions in negotiations expected to follow the Annapolis conference and which he has said he hopes can establish a Palestinian state.

Hamas, which is shunned by Israel and its allies for its refusal to renounce violence against the Jewish state, will not be represented at Annapolis. Though they won a parliamentary majority and formed a government last year, Hamas leaders were dismissed from power by Abbas in June after they seized Gaza.

Members of two other groups, Islamic Jihad and the Popular Resistance Committees, also took part in the rally in Gaza.


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