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Hamas says rocket attacks over for now

DAMASCUS, Syria, May 4 (UPI) -- The leader of Hamas, a militant Palestinian organization, says his forces have stopped firing rockets into Israel, at least for the time being.

In an interview with The New York Times, Khaled Meshal said Hamas desires a Palestinian state only in the territories Israel took over in 1967.

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"I promise the American administration and the international community that we will be part of the solution, period," Meshal said.

However, Meshal refused to recognize Israel, the Times said Monday.

"There is only one enemy in the region, and that is Israel," he said, apparently addressing his remark to Arab leaders, the Times said.

Nevertheless, he said the Hamas charter provision calling for the destruction of Israel in a jihad should be disregarded, noting that it is 20 years old.

"We are shaped by our experiences," Meshal said.

He said he was doing the interview so people could hear from Hamas leaders "directly, not about the movement through others."

The administration of U.S. President Barack Obama has indicated it wants to conduct a dialogue with Iran and Syria, but has said it would not open such a dialogue with Hamas unless the militant organization renounces violence, recognizes Israel and endorses Palestinian-Israeli accords previously agreed to.

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Meshal said Obama's "language is different and positive" but he said the language used by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton "reflects the (Bush) administration policies."

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