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Egypt's Mubarak laments Palestinian split

June 24, 2007 at 10:17 AM

CAIRO, June 24 (UPI) -- Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said the Hamas takeover of Gaza dampens the prospect of a single Palestinian state.

"We feel sad for the shedding of the blood of Palestinians by Palestinian hands in a fighting that has crossed" all lines, Mubarak told lawmakers in Cairo Saturday.

The Los Angeles Times said Egypt supports Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, leader of the Fatah party whose Gaza security forces were ousted by Hamas nearly two weeks ago.

What remains is a battered political landscape in which the Islamist Hamas group controls Gaza and the more moderate Fatah party rules the West Bank.

Mubarak is to meet Monday in Egypt with Abbas, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Jordan's King Abdullah II in an attempt to bolster Abbas' role in the Middle East peace process.

Egyptian authorities hope to keep Hamas' militant fervor from reviving Egypt's banned, yet popular, Islamic party, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Times reported.

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