The Palestinian Hamas movement denied on Tuesday it had any links to members of an extremist Islamic organization headed by Saudi dissident Osama Bin Laden which is suspected of planning attacks against Israeli targets.
Israeli security officials revealed on Monday they had arrested over the past few months 23 people, mostly alleged members of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and al Qaeda, a movement led by Bin Laden.
Asked about the links between Hamas and the Bin Laden group, Hamas founder and spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin said: "That is not true, and Israel is trying to propagate a lie.
"They want the Israeli people to believe that their security forces thwarted a military operation before it took place," he told reporters in Gaza.
"The goal (of the Israeli government) is to increase American aid to Israel by making it seem that there are terrorists and also to push the authority to make concessions," he added - GAZA CITY (AFP)
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