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Photo: AP
Hamas Poliburo chief Khaled Mashaal
Photo: AP
Photo: AFP
Al-Aqsa mosque
Photo: AFP
Hamas dismisses Olmert – Abbas meeting
Describes meeting as 'political blackmail of PA by Zionist enemy;' Islamic judge: Al-Aqsa mosque could collapse

Hamas dismissed the Saturday afternoon meeting between Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and PA President Mahmoud Abbas, saying it would "not serve the Palestine question," and adding that Hamas did not "hinge hopes" on the encounter, the Hamas English language website reported.

 

Ismail Redwan, a Hamas spokesman in Gaza, was quoted as saying that the “Zionist enemy exploits such meetings to politically blackmail the PA," the website said.

 

"We don't attach high hopes to such meetings because they always fall in line with pressures on Palestinians, denying them rights and rejecting their legitimate demands," Redwan added.

 

Responding to reports that the meeting would help lift a number of roadblocks in the West Bank, Redwan said: "We shifted from discussing the essence of the question that we are under occupation to discussing a road barrier or a supplies truck".

 

Redwan was also quoted as saying that "the release of the Israeli serviceman, Gilad Shalit, was still awaiting reply from the Hebrew state to conditions of his captors."

 

'Al-Aqsa Mosque threatened by collapse'

The Hamas website also quoted the Palestinian chief justice of Islamic courts, Sheikh Tayseer

al-Tamimi, as claiming that "Israeli diggings have reached a dangerous spot underneath the holy al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem that was threatening the Mosque's collapse."

 

"Tamimi addressed an urgent appeal to the Arab and Muslim Ummah (nation) to protect the holy site, noting that the Israeli occupation authority had opened tunnels underneath al-Aqsa for Jewish visitors causing cracks in its western wall," the website said.

 

The claim that Israel was conspiring to collapse the al-Aqsa mosque has been routinely repeated in the propaganda of hard-line Palestinian Islamist organizations for several decades, and is often used as a tool to raise funds and support from donors in Arab-Muslim states.

 

The Hamas website said Tamimi accused Israel of aiming "for the Judaizing the al-Aqsa Mosque and changing its landmark," and the Islamic judge added that "all Palestinian factions should set aside their differences and unite ranks in face of such imminent dangers." 

 

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