Archive: 10/5/2007
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  10/5/2007, Tishrei 23, 5768

Former US Officials: Include Hamas in Negotiations


According to Yediot Acharonot, five former senior officials in the United States State Department and the Pentagon have sent a letter to US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice recommending that Hamas be included in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.  Hamas representatives should be included in a series of meetings to be held after a planned Mideast peace conference in November, they said.  The five rejected PA demands for the “right of return” for seven million foreign Arabs claiming descent from Arabs who fled the country during the War of Independence.

Hamas has rejected participation in the planned peace conference, and has repeatedly denounced PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and his negotiators, saying they have no authority to make agreements for the “Palestinian people.”  The group has also expressed commitment to the “right of return,” which would leave Israel with an Arab majority.