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Monday, January 30, 2006

Hamas rejects Quartet call to disarm, recognise Israel

GAZA, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Hamas rejected a call from the Middle East peacemaking Quartet on Monday to renounce violence and recognise Israel if it participates in a Palestinian government, a spokesman for the group said.

"The Quartet should have demanded an end to (Israeli) occupation and aggression ... not demanded that the victim should recognise the occupation and stand handcuffed in the face of the aggression," spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said.

Quartet representatives met in London on Monday and issued a statement saying Hamas must reject violence and recognise Israel.

Abu Zuhri said the Palestinian people were being punished for exercising their democratic right.

"The Quartet has punished the Palestinian people for having cast their vote," he said.

He added that Hamas was keen to have good relations with Western countries.
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