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Hamas talks of new ´hudna´ (JERUSALEM POST) By KHALED ABU TOAMEH 11/14/03) Source: http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull&cid=1068697370491&p=1006688055060
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Hamas confirmed on Thursday that its representatives were holding talks with Egyptian and Palestinian Authority officials to discuss the possibility of reaching a new cease-fire agreement.
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Mahmoud Zahar, one of the senior Hamas leaders in the Gaza Strip, said: "Meetings between Egyptian officials and Hamas have not stopped. We are also holding talks with representatives of other countries." However, Zahar, who has been in hiding since his house was destroyed in an Israel Air Force raid several weeks ago, said efforts to reach a new hudna (temporary truce) have not produced any results until now.
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He did not rule out the possibility that Hamas would eventually accept a cease-fire, saying that this would not disgrace the movement. "The cease-fire issue is not about wasting time," he added. "The occupation forces must commit themselves to a cease-fire. The Zionist entity is saying that it wants a hudna because it is helpless and defeated. The statements of the pilots and the chief of General Staff reflect the internal turmoil inside the Zionist entity."
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Zahar was referring to a petition signed by reservist IAF pilots opposed to the policy of assassinations and statements attributed to Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Moshe Ya´alon in which he called for easing restrictions on the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
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He said Hamas is prepared to meet with PA Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei about reaching a new cease-fire. But he lashed out at the composition of the new PA cabinet, pointing out that many ministers whose names have been linked to corruption have returned to their posts.
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Of the "Geneva Initiative," hammered out between Israeli left-wing politicians and Palestinian intellectuals, Zahar said: "Our position is clear: all of Palestine. Every inch of Palestine belongs to the Muslims. Some marginal elements in the Palestinian Authority have begun trading with the Palestinian cause as they did in Oslo."
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He denied his group was involved in the roadside bomb attack on a US convoy in the Gaza Strip last month, in which three Americans were killed. "Undoubtedly, the whole world hates the US because of its aggression against our people and the people of Iraq," he said. (© 1995-2003, The Jerusalem Post 11/14/03)
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