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Official: Hamas to focus on removing name from terrorism list

April 21, 2013 1:01 P.M. (Updated: April 23, 2013 2:37 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) – The Hamas movement has been holding a series of closed-door meetings in the Qatari capital of Doha to distribute positions on the new members of its politburo, says senior leader Ahmed Yousif.

Yousif told Ma’an Sunday that the task would be completed this week.

He highlighted that Hamas’ leader in Gaza and deputy chief of the movement’s politburo Ismail Haniyeh arrived in Doha to join the meetings and to discuss reconciliation with Fatah. He is also expected to discuss the special Arab League summit the Emir of Qatar suggested during the latest Doha summit to address Palestinian reconciliation.

Names and positions of new politburo members will be announced soon, added Yousif.

The new Hamas politburo, added Yousif, is expected to focus on benefiting from the Arab, Palestinian and Muslim communities in Europe to recruit support to Hamas in Europe, and try and take the movement’s name off terrorism lists.

“Hamas will focus on convincing European countries to take its name out of the terrorism list. Hamas is certain that the US will not agree to take its name off the list. However, European countries set only one condition to do that -- avoiding martyrdom attacks inside Israel, and Hamas hasn’t carried out any attack since 2004.”

Asked about expected consultations to form a unity government after Salam Fayyad's resignation, Yousif said his movement would be ready to join any consultations.

“The atmosphere is appropriate for forming a technocrat government, and the ball is on President (Mahmoud) Abbas' court who can in a few weeks hold consultations with Palestinian factions and set a date for elections.”

Yousif applauded Fayyad highlighting that his resignation was not directly related to Palestinian reconciliation.

“He has gone through pressures and injustices by some people who tried to show that he was a weak element,” Yousif said.

Fayyad, added Yousif, is innocent of all these accusations and he is a patriotic man who helped the Palestinian national project considerably.
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