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Hamas official: Armed struggle needed

Dec. 3, 2012 at 5:24 AM

BEIRUT, Lebanon, Dec. 3 (UPI) -- Armed struggle against Israel is the only way for Palestinians to achieve statehood, said Osama Hamdan, a Hamas official in Beirut.

Last week's United Nations vote upgrading Palestinian status "was a political step but not a victory or great achievement," Hamdan said Sunday.

"The PLO [Palestine Liberation Organization] has paid a heavy political price for this representation because it relinquished its claim to the lands of 1948," The Jerusalem Post quoted Hamdan as saying. "Therefore, the real achievement lies in the liberation of the land, the return of the refugees and achieving steadfastness on the land. These are the achievements which the people respect and appreciate."

Hamdan is a senior Hamas official based in Beirut.

Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh called on the U.S. and European Union to remove Hamas from their list of designated terror organizations.

"Hamas and the Palestinian groups are national liberation movements that are defending themselves against Israeli aggression on our people," Haniyeh told a delegation of visiting Europeans in Gaza Sunday, the Ma'an news agency reported.

"The important message is that we want the demise of the occupation of Palestinian land, and we want a full sovereign state with its capital in Jerusalem, and we want to return our homeless people to their land."

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