The deputy foreign minister of the Palestinian government in the Gaza Strip, Ghazi Hamad, issued a statement on Monday denying that any kind of talks had been held with the Israeli occupiers.
Hamad's statement came in response to a report published by the Israeli news website Walla! suggesting that Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh had sent a secret message to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
"What was published by the Israeli media regarding secret talks between Haniyeh and the Israeli side is completely untrue," said the statement, which was distributed to the mass media.
Hamad asserted that: "There are no covert, overt, direct or indirect talks between the government in Gaza and Israel. The news about secret messages is merely a form of propaganda and psychological war."
The senior official said that the Israeli occupation wants to communicate to the world that Hamas is experiencing a crisis and thus seeking all ways to save itself at the expense of its resistance and its commitment to Palestinian rights and principles.
However, he pointed out that any kind of necessary civil coordination between Gaza and Israel happens through Egypt, which is the mediator in such situations.
In the report, Walla! claimed that Netanyahu had received the message two weeks ago via Gershon Beskin, who was active in the Gilad Shalit negotiations and has a friendship with Hamas leaders.
According to the website, Haniyeh's message to Netanyahu requested for Israel not to carry out aggressions on Gaza, as Hamas does not desire to escalate the situation there.
(Source: The Middle East Monitor)
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