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Hamas official: Armed resistance is strategic

Nov. 27, 2011 11:36 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 29, 2011 10:19 A.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- Senior Hamas official Ismail Radwan said Sunday that armed resistance remains a strategic option for Palestinians, while affirming that popular action was also an integral part of challenging Israel's policies.

Radwan told Ma'an: "All aspects of resistance are open and permissible and open to us."

But he stressed that it is the Palestinian factions who must decide on the ways to challenge Israel's occupation of Palestinian lands.

The comments come after Islamic Jihad said on Sunday it would support a Palestinian consensus on strategies to resist the occupation, but on condition that popular actions do not become a substitute for armed resistance.

After Hamas chief Khalid Mashaal and Fatah leader President Mahmoud Abbas met in Cairo on Thursday to progress implementation of a unity deal between the two largest political parties, the leaders said they were united in their approach to the Palestinian cause.

The parties will join with other Palestinian factions in December to move forward with a national program. The Fatah-led government in the West Bank has championed popular resistance strategies including marches and boycotts, while Hamas and other factions armed opposition is still effective.

Radwan told Ma'an that the exact date for the cross-factional meeting had yet to be set, as the Hamas delegation to the Cairo talks had not yet returned to Gaza.

The unity deal brokered by Egyptian mediators in May set out a path to a transitional government of technocrats, and national elections within a year, re-joining the administrations of the Gaza Strip and West Bank after a violent rupture a year after Hamas won parliamentary elections in 2006.
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