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Talking to Hamas

Hamas official Osama Hamdan explains how US pressure is making it hard to govern. But the organisation, if it can stay on track, is set to change the face of Islamism and then the middle east

By Alastair Crooke   June 2006

Almost no one believes that putting Palestinians on a “diet” will make them more moderate or help to restart a political process with Israel. The diet—a term coined by Ariel Sharon’s chief of staff, Dov Weisglass—refers to the US and EU policy of trying to cut off the Hamas government politically and financially so that it cannot pay the salaries of civil servants or function as a government.

The pressure is designed to give the new government no option but to accede to three US and EU demands: recognition of Israel, renunciation of violence, and acceptance of all earlier agreements…

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