Hamas official: Israel, Arab states in cahoots against us

Zahar said that Hamas turned down an invitation from Blair to send its representatives to London in order to discussed the proposed agreement.

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Tensions between Hamas and Egypt boiled over at the weekend after the Palestinian Islamic group accused Egyptian authorities of kidnapping four of its members from a bus bound for Cairo from the Gaza Strip.

Meshaal added that the talks did not level any agreement until the moment.

“The question is how to resolve the Gaza problem?”

Initial investigations suggest the Hamas members were taken to the al-Tuma village south of the city of Sheikh Zuweid.

The four Palestinians – identified as Abd al-Basit Abd al-Dayim, Abdullah Said Abdullah Abu Jibbeen, Yasir Fathi Misbah Zanoun and Hussein Khamis al-Thabda – were kidnapped at gunpoint on Wednesday after they crossed through the Rafah Crossing into Egypt. “But this will not occur at the expense of the unity of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip”, he said.

Since 2007, the Gaza Strip has groaned under a tight blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt that has deprived the coastal enclave’s nearly two million inhabitants of basic commodities including food, fuel and medicine.

“There are mediators who are doing their utmost to reach this agreement”, he said.

“Fatah spokesman Ahmed Assaf put the PA’s concerns bluntly: “[An Israel-Hamas deal] would achieve Israel’s strategic goal of killing the idea of establishing an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital.

The official – who did name the countries in question – said that Hamas operatives only work overseas with the full consent of the host nation.

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Whether or not such a deal is being negotiated, however, Israel and Hamas should aggressively pursue it as both can greatly benefit from it on several levels.

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