Palestinian P.M. denies rumors on Israel

April 7, 2006 at 3:29 PM

GAZA, April 7 (UPI) -- Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh denied rumors Friday that Hamas is willing to accept a two-state solution that recognizes Israel.

Haniyeh seemed shocked when reporters asked him about the rumors during an appearance in the town of Khan Yunis in Gaza, the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz reported.

"That is not correct," he said. "Where did you hear that?"

Earlier in the day, an unnamed senior official had said that Haniyeh planned to present the plan for recognition to President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday. The foreign minister, Mahmoud al-Zahar, also said in an interview Thursday with the Times of London that Hamas is ready to change its position on Israel.

Both the United States and European Union have cut off aid to the Palestinian Authority until Hamas recognizes Israel's right to exist. Israel has also refused to hand over tax money collected on behalf of the authority.

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