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Quick Takes: News From Israel You May Have Missed

  Hamas is willing to renew an expiring six-month truce with Israel but is delaying in hopes of extracting more concessions from the Jewish state, according to sources close to Hamas in the Gaza Strip speaking to WorldNetDaily.

  The terror group, according to the sources, wants an agreement with Israel whereby the Gaza-Israel borders will be more open, including for commerce. An agreement to reopen the borders would be a major victory for Hamas and would help endear the group to the local population.

  Israeli security officials said Hamas used the past six months of the expiring truce to rearm and prepare for a large confrontation. They warned that Hamas would utilize any more downtime provided by a renewed cease-fire to continue the mass buildup of arms in Gaza.
 
Hamas-U.S. Talks?

  The U.S. recently held secret talks with Hamas in hopes of establishing some sort of relationship with the terrorist group in control of the Gaza Strip, charged a member of the rival Fatah organization.

  “The Palestinian delegation in Egypt has precise information about secret talks between Hamas and the U.S. These talks are ongoing and took place as recently as in the last weeks,” said Saed Kamal, a Fatah legislator and a former Fatah ambassador to Egypt.

  He continued: “These talks don’t aim to bring recognition to Hamas but they bring together common interests of both sides and go with the interests of Hamas. These talks are behind the fact that Hamas is not enthusiastic to renew the Palestinian national dialogue.”

  In response, Ahmed Yousef, Hamas’s chief political adviser in Gaza, claimed to this column that his group has held talks with U.S. officials, including members of both the Democratic and Republican parties. He said he does not think the Bush administration will engage Hamas but believes the incoming Obama administration will. Obama has strongly condemned Hamas and his transition team has fiercely denied any contacts with the terror group.
 
Terrorist Hails Shoe-Throwing Journalist

  An Iraqi journalist’s act of hurling of shoes at President Bush last weekend has prompted excited reaction among Palestinians, with one senior terrorist declaring 2008 the “year of the shoe.”

  “This is the main historic event of the year of 2008, the year of the shoe,” Muhammad Abdel-Al, spokesman and a top leader of the Popular Resistance Committees terrorist group, told WND. The terrorist warned, “If the successor of Bush will continue with America’s policy of occupation and massacres of Muslims, then America and the West will finish under the shoes of all the Arabs and Muslims.”

  Abu Abdullah, a Gaza-based senior leader of Hamas’s so-called military wing, commented, “It’s important that this was from a journalist and not a motivated resistance group. It’s from the average Arab person.”

  Terrorists had a busy week commenting to this column. One called without prompting to express his satisfaction with CNN’s extensive coverage last week of the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca. Starting last Saturday and continuing until Wednesday, CNN provided regular coverage of the Hajj, the largest annual pilgrimage in the world. The fifth pillar of Islam requires all able-bodied Muslims to travel to Mecca at least once in their life in a demonstration of solidarity with fellow Muslims and in an act of individual submission to Allah.

  CNN aired several live reports from this year’s Hajj, including a live shot of the end of the pilgrimage. It also provided extensive online coverage, with an entire special section of the CNN website dedicated to the Hajj.

  “The fact that the Americans, who are the biggest enemies of Islam, are so interested in the Hajj proves they want to know what is this thing threatening their culture. They want to understand what is this religion that is defeating them in the U.S., in Iraq, in Palestine, everywhere,” said Abdel-Al.

  Aaron Klein is Jerusalem bureau chief for WorldNetDaily.com. He appears throughout the week on leading U.S. radio programs and is the author of the book “Schmoozing with Terrorists.”

About the Author: Aaron Klein is a New York Times bestselling author and senior reporter for WND.com. He is also host of an investigative radio program on New York's 970 AM Radio on Sundays from 7 to 9 p.m. Eastern. His website is KleinOnline.com.


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