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Hamas reaffirms jihad

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Hamas, rebuffing criticism by al-Qaida, reaffirmed its commitment to
destroying Israel. “We will not betray promises we made to God to continue the
path of Jihad and resistance until the liberation of Palestine, all of
Palestine,” the governing Palestinian Authority faction said in a
statement Monday.

The move, which could complicate Palestinian efforts to lift
a Western aid embargo on the West Bank and Gaza Strip, came in reaction to a
rare criticism of Hamas by al-Qaida’s deputy commander Ayman Zawahri. In a
statement Sunday, Zawahri denounced Hamas for agreeing to share power with the
more moderate Palestinian faction Fatah, calling this capitulation to Israel and
the West.

“Zawahri’s recent statements were wrong,” the Hamas statement said. “Resistance is
our strategy. How and when? This depends on the reality at the time and our
corresponding view of things.”

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