Monday, 17 May 1999

Deadly Arab enemy offers hope of peace

May 17, 1999

Matthew Kalman

AS Israelis prepare to vote today in an election that may decide the fate of the Middle East peace process, a sworn enemy of the Jewish state has made an overture toward peace.

Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, spiritual leader of the terrorist Islamic resistance movement Hamas, has called for an end to the Israeli- Palestinian conflict and for the first time suggested he might recognise Israel's right to exist. But he threatened to continue terrorist activity if there is no movement.

In a radical departure from all previous statements of Hamas policy, Yassin said the conflict could end if Israel withdrew from the West Bank and Gaza. Israel captured both areas in the 1967 Six- Day War. In …

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