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News Brief

March 7, 2006
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Ehud Olmert said Israel still hopes to see a Palestinian state formed in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The interim Israeli prime minister greeted the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s annual conference Sunday via videolink. Israel’s policy is to isolate a Palestinian Authority run by Hamas, but still to seek a resolution to the conflict, Olmert said.

The European Union urged Israel to release withheld tax revenues to the Palestinian Authority. “It would be important that the Israelis pay out what is actually Palestinian money — the customs duties,” European Commission official Benita Ferrero-Waldner told Austria’s Der Standard newspaper Monday.

Hamas’ armed wing plans to continue attacks on Israel even after the radical Islamic group takes over the Palestinian Authority. Hamas politburo chief Khaled Meshaal told the U.A.E. newspaper Al-Khalij on Monday that the armed wing, izz a-Din al-Kassam, would continue to “to fight the Zionist occupier” once the new Palestinian Authority government is in place.

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