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Home >> World
UPDATED: 09:18, February 21, 2006
Islamic Jihad reiterates refusal to join Hamas-led government
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The Islamic Jihad (Holy War) reiterated on Monday its rejection to join a Hamas-led movement, a senior leader of the group said.

Nafez Azzam told reporters that Jihad's position was clear that the group wouldn't join the government to be formed by Hamas, which swept the Jan. 25 Palestinian legislative elections by garnering 74 seats in the 132-seat parliament.

Azzam made the remarks after he met with Mahmoud al-Zahar, a senior leader of Hamas, in Gaza City, who was tasked with starting talks with other Palestinian factions over the new cabinet formation.

Azzam said the group was still committed to the national unity, and its refusal to take part in the cabinet "doesn't mean that we oppose any kind of cooperation with Hamas in the future in order to strengthen out steadfastness in front of the Israeli aggression carried out against our people."

"We explained to al-Zahar during the meeting that Jihad's choice is resistance, and that any coming Palestinian government has to respect this choice," Azzam said.

"Jihad would be joining Hamas in confronting the Americans and Zionists as well as the international pressure on the Palestinians to break its determination to resist the occupation," added Azzam.

Earlier Monday, Hamas leaders met with representatives of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which indicated willingness to join a national unity government led by Hamas.

Hamas is expected to form a new cabinet within weeks with Ismail Haneya, a Gaza-based senior Hamas leader, as the new prime minister.

Hamas was involved in the past in several suicide attacks against Israel, but largely abided by a truce agreement with Israel in 2005.

Source: Xinhua

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