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Israel Rejects Talks With Hamas

A Palestinian man gestures in front of a large Hamas poster in the West Bank city of Hebron, 26 January (epa) 27 January 2006 -- Israel today reiterated that it will not negotiate with the Palestinian militant group Hamas, which emerged victorious from parliamentary elections held on 26 January.

Raanan Gissin, senior adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, said Israel will not negotiate with any recognized terrorist organizations.

"Hamas is recognized as a terrorist organization by all the countries of the world," Gissin said, adding that "it's against the Oslo agreement and against the road map to peace, [to] which the Palestinian authority has committed itself."

Meanwhile, Israeli officials continued to press the Palestinian Authority to act on its pre-election promise to disarm militant groups.

Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas and Hamas officials are to meet in the coming days to discuss the formation of a new Palestinian government.

(compiled from agency reports)