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Fatah official: Remove Hamas from terrorist list

March 13, 2013 7:01 P.M. (Updated: March 17, 2013 5:31 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Fatah supports removing Hamas from global terrorist lists, but insists the PLO must remain the only representative of the Palestinian people, a central committee member said Wednesday.

Amal Hamad said Fatah supports national unity on the Palestinian street, but is concerned that Hamas will announce a "state of Gaza".

"Gaza is part of Palestine, and we will not allow anyone to separate it from the West Bank," Hamad said.

A leader in Hamas, Ismael al-Ashkar, said that most European countries were in direct contact with Hamas, but the issue needed time to be formalized.

"All the Europeans who visited the Gaza Strip said they had a mistake by putting Hamas on the world terrorism list," al-Ashkar said.

Akram Attallah, a political analyst, said it was too early to remove Hamas from the list as the international community had conditions that Hamas had not yet agreed to.

Attallah told Ma'an that Hamas needed a fundamental change in its political approach and ideology to get off the list.
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