Exiled Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal said Monday that his organization was prepared to enter negotiations without preconditions with any international body including the United States, but not with the "Zionist enemy."
Speaking to the London based daily paper Al-Hayat
Mashaal added that international authorities had, over the past few days, sent messages to Hamas saying that they would support projects carried out buy the Palestinian Authority, even with a Hamas-controlled PA
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In related news, top Hamas figures Mahmoud Zahar and Saed Siyam rejected on Sunday any possible peace negotiations with Israel.
Speaking in Amman, Jordan before parliament members from all over the Arab world, Zahar said that Israel was an enemy, and thus not a partner for negotiations, Israel Radio reported.
He added that Hamas did not plan to renew the failed diplomatic talks with Israel.
Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Welch Sunday that there cannot be two Palestinian authorities, a "good one" that is represented by Abbas with which the international community wants to continue doing business, and a "bad one" represented by Hamas.
Hamas represents the PA, officials in Olmert's office quoted Olmert as telling Welch. He said that Hamas has a majority in the Palestinian parliament, the prime minister is from Hamas, and the government will be formed by Hamas.
Israel, diplomatic officials pointed out, wants to ensure that the international community does not waver from its demand that Hamas recognize Israel, disavow terrorism, and accept previous agreements before the international community will deal with the PA.
with Herb Keinon