Mashaal: Hamas Gathering Weapons

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KHARTOUM, Sudan - Damascus-based Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal told youthful participants at the General Conference of the National Congress Party in Khartoum that Hamas is accruing the weapons it needs in the Gaza Strip.

"You did miracles in Sudan and, thanks be to Allah, your brothers in Palestine - despite the siege, closure, harassment, the large conspiracy and fleets of the East and the West, which prevent us from bringing weapons - we were able to buy, manufacture and smuggle weapons, thanks be to Allah," Mashaal said.

Mashaal led a delegation of senior Hamas leaders for consultations with Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir and other government officials on laying the groundwork for the next round of unity talks between Fatah and Hamas, scheduled for October.

According to Hamas officials, they discussed relations between Sudan and Hamas, Israeli "settlements in the West Bank" and "Israeli-American plans to liquidate the Palestinian cause."

In August, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas traveled to Khartoum to meet with the Sudanese president.

Meanwhile, Al-Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

In early March, the ICC issued a warrant for his arrest.

The warrant accuses the Sudanese president of directing attacks to murder, exterminate, rape, torture, forcibly transfer and pillage the property of Darfur's civilian population.

"Omar Al-Bashir's official capacity as a sitting Head of State does not exclude his criminal responsibility, nor does it grant him immunity against prosecution before the ICC, according to Pre-Trial Chamber I," an ICC press release issued on March 4, stated.

Source: Ma'an news agency

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