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Hamas says it's open to dialogue with US

A senior Hamas leader has said the movement is willing to engage in talks with the United States, which some believe to be an attempt to replace the PLO.

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Quds Press International News Agency reported March 20 that Salah al-Bardawil, a member of Hamas’ political bureau, said his movement is ready to engage in a dialogue with the US administration to achieve the aspirations of the Palestinian people in obtaining their rights, establishing a Palestinian state and lifting the siege on Gaza. This has angered the leaders of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Fatah, who consider Hamas’ willingness to introduce itself to the US administration as a substitute for the PLO.

Al-Monitor contacted several Hamas officials, but they all refused to comment on this issue. They noted that Bardawil’s statements reflect the movement’s official position, but they also stressed that they were neither contacted by the US administration for dialogue nor invited to attend the donor conference held at the White House mid-March. On the contrary, Hamas criticized the conference, which it described as a US attempt to absolve Israel of Gaza's humanitarian and economic problems caused by the Israeli blockade imposed on Gaza since 2007.

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