Friday, June 25, 2010

Rumor that US officials to meet Hamas next week

Al Quds al-Arabi quotes a Hamas source saying that US officials will unofficially meet with Hamas in an Arab country next week.

The story goes on to say that the Hamas officials were asked by the US to keep it quiet so that Jewish lobbying groups wouldn't find out.

Lower-level contacts between the State Department and Hamas were used to set up this meeting, according to the report.

It goes on to say that many European countries have been urging the US to open up a dialogue with Hamas.

George Mitchell is aware of and supportive of these contacts, the report says.

We have seen these claims before. In late May, Hamas spokesman Abu Marzouk claimed that there have been contacts between the organization and the State Department. It is plausible - diplomats itch to do diplomacy and dislike being told they cannot speak to major players -  but it is equally plausible that Hamas is making this up.