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E.U. lawmakers dealing with Hamas

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WASHINGTON (JTA) — European lawmakers reportedly are dealing directly with Hamas.

The Independent, a London daily, quoted Hamas officials and European diplomats on Wednesday as saying that legislators from parliaments in Britain, France, Sweden, the Netherlands and three other western European nations have met in recent weeks with Hamas officials in Syria and Lebanon.

Such visits do not necessarily violate a diplomatic ban on dealings with the terrorist group. The lawmakers are not representing their governments, the Independent said, although they are likely reporting back to their governments after the meetings.

The Quartet, the grouping of Russia, the European Union, the United States and the United Nations, bans dealings with Hamas until the terrorist group recognizes Israel and ends terrorism.

The recent Gaza Strip conflict has fueled demands in Europe that Hamas be treated as an inevitable participant in diplomatic dealings.

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