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News Brief

April 27, 2006
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An Israeli Arab lawmaker met with the Palestinian Authority foreign minister, a top Hamas official. Azmi Bishara, chairman of the Knesset faction Balad, held impromptu talks with Mahmoud Zahar this week in Qatar. According to media reports, Bishara was in the Gulf state for a television appearance and learned that, by coincidence, he was staying at the same hotel as the P.A. foreign minister. It was the highest contact between an Israeli lawmaker and a Hamas official since Israel cut off ties with the Palestinian Authority in response to the Islamic terrorist group’s rise to power. Early this month, several other Israeli Arab lawmakers were criticized for holding talks with Hamas counterparts in Jerusalem.

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