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Sunday, November 05, 2006

Deputy Knesset Speaker meets Hamas 'foreign minister'

This was buried in a Haaretz article and I wanted to give it a little prominence. :-)
Deputy Knesset Speaker MK Ahmed Tibi (United Arab List) met with ['Palestinian Foreign Minister' Mahmoud CiJ] Zahar of Hamas in Cairo on Friday.

The two discussed the status of relations between Hamas and Fatah, as well as ways to resolve to crisis in the Palestinian Authority.

"The best way to solve any internal Palestinian problem is dialogue and moving away from internal violence," said a summing up statement issued by the Palestinian Foreign Ministry.

Tibi and Zahar also discussed the addition of Yisrael Beiteinu to the coalition. According to the Palestinian Foreign Ministry statement, the addition is a "grave move" that will have consequences, calling Lieberman a "radical."

They also discussed the general political situation in Israel.

An official in Tibi's party confirmed the report of the meeting, the first of an Israeli lawmaker with a senior member of Hamas.

Security officials have rejected requests by Arab MKs to enter the Gaza Strip to meet with Hamas officials.

Earlier this week, Tibi met in Cairo with Farouk Kaddoumi, PLO's political department head. They discussed Israel's military operation in Gaza and called on the international community to intervene in order to end the operation.

Tibi also met with Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit who informed Tibi that Egypt is working to achieve a swift resolution to the issue of IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, held captive in Gaza.
I highlighted Kaddoumi for a reason: he is the representative of the PLO 'rejectionists' - those who felt Arafat was too 'moderate' and did not move to Judea, Samaria and Gaza in the aftermath of the signing of the Oslo Accords. He continues to reside in Tunis.

The real question here is not why Tibi is meeting with Zahar (or Kaddoumi for that matter), but why Tibi is the Deputy Speaker of the Israeli Knesset. Think about that one for a while.


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