Hamas rep says Israeli media misquoted him

Jan. 21, 2010 at 6:04 PM
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RAMALLAH, West Bank, Jan. 21 (UPI) -- Palestinian Legislative Council speaker Aziz Dwaik on Thursday denied reports by Israeli media that he said Israel has a right to exist.

In a statement, Dwaik said the media reports "were inaccurate," Ma'an news agency reported.

Since his release from an Israeli prison, Israeli media have misrepresented his views, the lawmaker said.

The Jerusalem Post quoted Dwaik as saying Wednesday the movement accepted Israel's right to exist and would be prepared to nullify its charter, which calls for destruction of Israel.

Dwaik told Ma'an, however, that he offered no such recognition of Israel's "right to exist on Palestinian land," as reported, and told British millionaire David Martin Abrahams the Palestine Liberation Organization erred by nullifying its charter. The remarks reportedly were made during a meeting with Abrahams, who has ties with Israeli and British government officials.

"The PLO canceled its charter, and Palestinians achieved nothing," he said. "This is Hamas's stance and the opinion of any Hamas leader regarding the nullification of (its) charter."

Dwaik was one of many Hamas leaders captured by Israel following the abduction of Israeli army Sgt. Gilad Shalit in June 2006. Dwaik was released several months ago after spending nearly three years in an Israeli prison. Shalit still is being held by Islamic extremists.

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