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Jun 24, 2005
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Hamas Representative in Lebanon Osama Hamdan: There is a Beginning of European Understanding towards Armed Resistance

#731 | 02:37
Source: Al-Arabiya Network (Dubai/Saudi Arabia)

The following are excerpts from an interview with Hamas representative in Lebanon Osama Hamdan, which aired on Al-Arabiya TV on June 24, 2005

Host: Mahmoud Abbas recently declared that Hamas is becoming more moderate and that we have to this.

Do you agree? Are you indeed becoming more moderate?

Hamdan: I believe that we've been a moderate movement from the start. We have been moderate in out inter-Palestinian relations, and we will remain so.

As for our relations with the enemy - the only solution is definitely resistance to the occupation. If this was what (Abu Mazen's) meant, then it's OK, but if brother meant something else, he should be asked about it.

Host: How do you, in Hamas, define "moderation"?

Hamdan: "Moderation" means that the rile for inter-Palestinian relations are dialogue, and the rule for confronting the enemy is resistance.

The Europeans totally understand that the failure of the political settlement, and the political activities, from the Madrid Conference to this day, is a weak point in this process in the European discourse. Therefore, there is the beginning of a European understanding towards the armed resistance and the nature of its role.

I'd like to make it clear that [Hamas's] contacts with the Europeans began over five years ago, and have never ceased, even though Hamas was put on the list of terrorist organizations.

What is new is that some of these meetings are now out in the open. Some of these meetings were at our request, and others were initiated by European countries and elements.

Host: What do the Europeans hope to achieve in these meetings, and what do you hope to achieve?

Hamdan: We want the Europeans to hear from us about ourselves and about the Palestinian cause.

We don't want the Israelis to have exclusive access to the Europeans who are internationally influential. We want to play a role in influencing the Europeans.

Perhaps the Europeans want to look for ways to settle the Palestinian problem, through dialogue with the influential (Palestinian) forces.

There's an additional and new element: Searching for ways to support NGOs, as well as municipalities, which may be headed by Hamas.

Despite what Condoleezza Rice said, there are American channels that have contact with us. Even though these are unofficial channels, they certainly lead to official American elements.

In addition, what Jack Straw said is a type of political hypocrisy, accompanying his visit to the Zionist entity - especially since following this visit, a meeting was held between a British representative and Hamas.

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