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Hamas leader: No change on negotiations

May 19, 2011 12:20 A.M. (Updated: May 20, 2011 8:19 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Hamas' position on negotiating with Israel has not changed, a top official said Wednesday.

Mahmoud Zahhar said remarks by politburo chief Khaled Mash'al in Cairo did not represent Hamas' position, which "is based on resistance as its political program - not negotiations."

Mash'al had said in Cairo this month that Hamas was willing to allow the PLO to negotiate with Israel for a period of time in order to prove that negotiations would lead nowhere.

But Zahhar told the Al-Quds newspaper that "we have not granted Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas] a chance to negotiate, and we have not agreed to or encouraged negotiations. On the contrary," he said.

"There has been no change on the movement's position in regard to resistance, which is the sole option."
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