'Kerry given Hamas letter to Obama'

Senator reportedly receives document during Gaza visit; Hamas denies writing letter to president.

February 21, 2009 06:08

A letter from Hamas officials to US President Barack Obama was received by Senator John Kerry during a visit to Gaza, Reuters reported Friday overnight. The news agency quoted a US official as saying the letter was given to Kerry along with other material during a meeting Thursday with the head of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), Karen AbuZayd. The origin of the letter was only discovered after the fact, Senate Foreign Relations Committee spokesman Frederick Jones said. Kerry handed the letter over to the US consulate in Jerusalem, which would send it to Washington for review, Reuters reported. Hamas denied addressing a letter to Obama. One Palestinian official suggested that the letter was the private initiative of an adviser to the group, who wrote it without consulting with the organization's leaders.

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