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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Hamas aide claims talks with Obama's advisors

I do not have any corroboration for this story, but the Palestine Press Agency is quoting Al Hayat of London as saying that a Hamas aide held talks with Obama's team during the presidential campaign:
Yusuf Ahmed Haniyeh, adviser in the Hamas government, claimed that there was a secret meeting between the leaders of Hamas and advisors to U.S. President-elect Barack Obama in the Gaza Strip.

Yusuf said in an interview broadcast on «London al-Hayat» the "contacts between us and some of his advisers (Obama) came via the Internet and we met some of them in Gaza, but we were cautioned not make any comments about this meeting so as not to negatively affect the electoral campaign, or have the meetings exploited by his Republican rival," John McCain.

He pointed out that "there is still a continuing relationship with Obama advisors," pointing out that he had enjoyed with «fellowship and friendship relationship» with each other when he was resident in the United States. He said that Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh would send a congratulatory message on the occasion of the Obama's victory in the elections.
One of Obama's advisors did meet with Hamas in what he said was as a member of a think tank and having nothing to do with Obama, and he got (temporarily) fired by the Obama team last May for those contacts.

I never heard the name Yusuf Ahmed Haniyeh before and cannot find the original Al Hayat story, so this should be taken a little skeptically. Such a lie could certainly be politically expedient for Hamas.

UPDATE: I misunderstood the autotranslation; the name of the aide is Ahmad Yousef (YNet has the story now.)