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Hizb Ut-Tahrir says Hamas giving up principals

Dec. 3, 2010 8:04 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 4, 2010 6:27 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The Islamist movement Hizb Ut-Tahrir on Thursday slammed Hamas, saying the party was giving up its principals.

Hizb Ut-Tahrir (Liberation Party) issued a statement following a rare news conference held by Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza on Wednesday.

The party said Hamas was heading toward the same track as Fatah and the Palestinian Authority, turning from armed struggle to negotiations with Israel, and ceding most of Palestine.

Haniyeh said Wednesday that Hamas would accept the creation of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza.

"We don't have a problem with establishing a viable Palestinian state with sovereignty on the land that was occupied in 1967, with a just solution for the refugees, including the release of all Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, and with elections as the only way to transfer authority from one party to another."

The Gaza Prime Minister said his government would respect the results of a referendum on any peace deal agreed in negotiations with Israel, in line with the 2007 Mecca agreement that established the Hamas-Fatah unity government.

"These respective documents granted President Abbas and the PLO full control over the negotiations, allowing them to come back with the results if there are any, to call for a referendum, to call on the Palestinian people if they agree with what has been achieved in the negotiations and the establishment of a state."

Hizb Ut-Tahrir said Haniyeh's statements confirmed information revealed in a US diplomatic cable released by the whistleblowing group WikiLeaks.

In a document originating from the US embassy in Doha, Qatar's Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani is reported to have said Hamas leaders were ready to recognize Israel.

According to the cable, Al-Thani said Hamas leaders realized they would have to time the announcement carefully, as their supporters were not ready for the change.
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