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Hamas says Trump smeared Palestinian resistance

GAZA CITY: Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas on Monday said US President Donald Trump smeared the name of Palestinian resistance to Israeli occupation during a speech on Islam.

Addressing Muslim leaders in Riyadh on Sunday, Trump called for unity against “Islamic terror”, specifically naming Hamas and the ISIS group.

Hamas spokesperson Fawzi Barhum said Trump’s remarks were “aimed at besmirching the reputation of the Palestinian resistance”.

The movement refused to be treated as a “terrorist” organisation, he said.

Senior Hamas official Mushir al-Masri said Trump was “aligning himself with the policies of the [Israeli] occupier”.

In his speech, Trump called on Muslim leaders to confront “the crisis of Islamic extremism and the Islamists and Islamic terror of all kinds”.

Read More: Trump urges Muslim leaders to honestly tackle extremism

He specifically named militant groups ISIS, al-Qaeda and Lebanon’s armed movement Hezbollah alongside Hamas.

Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip from secular Palestinian rivals in 2007 after winning an election.

It is considered a terrorist organisation by the US, the EU and Israel, with which it has fought three wars in the Gaza Strip since 2008.

Trump arrived in Israel on Monday and is due to hold talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu later on Monday.

He is to meet Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas on Tuesday as he seeks ways to restart moribund Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts.

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