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Hamas rejects any dialogue before closing Shalit's case
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19:38, September 10, 2008

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The Islamic Resistance Movement, or Hamas, decided not to hold any inter-Palestinian dialogue before closing the case of captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in Gaza, well-informed Palestinian sources said Wednesday.

The sources revealed that the Palestinian National Authority has recently received a letter from a senior Egyptian official saying that Hamas decided not to hold any dialogue before closing Shalit's case and opening Rafah border crossing.

The sources said the Egyptian official, who sent the letter to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, is close to the talks that Egypt is holding between Hamas and Israel to finalize the prisoners wap for the release of Shalit.

The Palestinian Hamas movement captured Shalit in 2006 and demanded Israel, through Egyptian mediators, to free 1,000 prisoners in addition to all jailed women, children and the old in exchange for the Corporal.

Meanwhile, Egypt is holding separate bilateral talks with leaders of each Palestinian faction to examine their views on launching a comprehensive dialogue in Cairo next month to end the current Palestinian split.

"Hamas decided not to hold any dialogue with rival Fatah movement because it conceived that such a dialogue would lead to an agreement on holding early presidential and legislative elections," said the sources.

The sources added that Hamas decided not to hold any dialogue with Fatah before finalizing the prisoner swap and reopening Rafah crossing point, in order to regain back a popular support it has lost among the Palestinians.

Sallah al-Bardaweel, a senior Hamas official accused Abbas that he is the one who does not want to dialogue with Hamas, adding that "his decision on dialogue is linked to a U.S. and Israeli permission."

Source:Xinhua



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