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Sunday, May 23, 2010

"Hamas wants peace, dialogue with America"

That's the headline in Ma'an, in an article that says:
The Hamas government's Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmad Yousef called for face-to-face dialogue with the American government and the people of the United States.

Speaking at a news conference alongside Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and a delegation of American citizens promoting international conciliation, Yousef credited the delegation with the public announcement.
That's pretty funny, considering how "Death to America" is one of Hamas' favorite phrases:


And who was in this American delegation to Gaza?

The best I could find so far was this:
A high-ranking U.S. delegation arrived in the Gaza Strip on Friday to hold talks with Hamas movement, which rules the enclave, sources in the deposed government of Hamas said.

The sources said that the seven-member delegation, which represents the National Institute for International Reconciliation crossed into the blockaded enclave through Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt.

The delegation will hold talks with Hamas officials in the frame to congregate views between the Palestinian factions and achieve an inter-Palestinian reconciliation between the rival Palestinian groups, said the sources.

The U.S. delegation, which will also look at the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, will return to Egypt through Rafah crossing on Saturday.
Needless to say, this "National Institute for International Reconciliation" seems to have been made up on the spot. They have no website and no mentions on any site before yesterday. Even the Hamas website doesn't have any pictures of them, and only quotes the Xinhua story above.