Meanwhile, sources close to the Hamas-led government claimed that Hamas representatives recently held talks with officials from the US Democratic Party at a secret location.
The sources told the Bethlehem-based Maan News Agency that Hamas representatives have also been holding secret talks with European government officials, including Britain and France.
Those two paras are no longer at the JPost link.
Maybe Hamas is in discussons with the Democrats about Palestine becoming the USA’s 51st state. Or maybe Hamas wants to be the next NATO member. (/sarcasm)
UPDATE: The WorldNetDaily story hasn’t gone anywhere, and its last update is just before noon ET:
JERUSALEM â€“ Hamas met with a delegation of “important Democrats” who expressed interest in relations with the Palestinian terror group even if it doesn’t recognize the right of Israel to exist, a Palestinian news website claimed today.
Maannews quoted a source in the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority stating the terror group felt it important to meet with members of the Democratic Party since, the Hamas source said, the party will likely win 2008 presidential elections.
Stacie Paxton, a spokeswoman for the Democratic National Committee, told WND the party was not aware of any meeting.
Maannews is an independent Palestinian news website based in Ramallah and Bethlehem. Sources close to the website told WND the site receives some funding from the governments of Denmark and the Netherlands.
According to the report, the alleged meeting with the Democrats took place in a European country following a series of preliminary meetings with representatives from the British and French governments.
UPDATE 2: The dateline on the current JPost piece is “Dec. 6, 2006 19:38 | Updated Dec. 7, 2006 4:28.” 4:28 AM would be, give or take an hour, 9:28 PM ET USA.
UPDATE 3: Captain Ed’s theory:
My guess at the time was that Hamas was shooting its collective mouth off, trying to pose as the more influential faction while Mahmoud Abbas tried to evict them from the government. I tend to believe that terrorists spend more time lying than breathing, and Hamas maybe more than most. I suspect the Jerusalem Post reconsidered their sourcing on the story and withdrew it without explanation, a poor journalistic choice on their part after a poor journalistic choice for including it in the first place.
At least, I hope that’s the explanation.
So do I.
Report: Hamas ministers met with US, EU officials
Palestinian source says ministers of Hamas-led government met with senior political officials in Europe, who showed their understanding for organization’s stance. In US, Hamas representatives meet with senior members of Democratic Party.
Published: 12.07.06, 01:49
The Palestinian news agency Maan, quoting a senior member of the Palestinian government, reported Wednesday that “ministers of the Hamas-led government recently held talks with European countries and with a delegation of the American Democratic Party.
According to the source, in the talks, the European officials showed their understanding for Hamas’ stance.
According to the report, several European countries are already holding talks with Hamas, and the dialogue has succeeded in bringing about a certain change in the European stance toward the Hamas-led Palestinian government.
The Palestinian official said that Hamas representatives held meeting in European countries and even succeeded in convincing the Europeans to accept the movement’s stance.
“Additional meetings will be held in the coming days between Hamas delegations and political officials in Europe and the United States,” he added.
….. The source also noted that Hamas made some achievement on the American front thanks to a meeting held with senior members of the Democratic Party.
He refused to elaborate on the meeting and where it took place, claiming that Hamas is not interested in harming the Democrats’ chances to win the 2008 elections.
This one got saved to the hard drive.
UPDATE 6, Dec. 7: To be clear, the story here suffers from unnamed-source syndrome and shouldn’t be given beyond-rumor credence without naming. The post came about because a major publication pulled content without explanation.
UPDATE 7, Dec. 7: JPost has put up three-para item (HT Political Pit Bull) reporting that Stacie Paxton, Press Secretary for the US Democratic National Committee, said: “No such meeting took place.” That’s a stronger statement than what Ms. Paxton told WorldNetDaily: “Stacie Paxton, a spokeswoman for the Democratic National Committee, told WND the party was not aware of any meeting.” The burden of proof is still on those using unnamed sources, but how can she, or even the DNC leadership, be so sure?