Hamas: U.S. Asked Us to Keep Silent

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GAZA STRIP - The U.S. has asked Hamas not to talk about contacts with Obama administration officials, a source close to Gaza-based Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh told London's Arabic-language al-Quds al-Arabi, according to a report in YNet news.

The unnamed source said exiled Hamas leadership in Damascus, presumably Khaled Meshaal, is overseeing the secret contacts with the Americans and that revealing the contacts would "rouse the Jewish lobby and other pressure groups in the U.S. and cause them to pressure the administration to suspend all talks with Hamas."

"This is a sensitive subject," the source said. "The Americans don't want anyone to comment on it because this would catch the attention of pressure groups and cause problems," he said.

According to a Washington-based Arabic-language newspaper, a senior U.S. official will be traveling to an unnamed Arab country to hand deliver a letter from the Obama administration to Hamas officials.

The Washington paper said the U.S. administration has decided it must work with Hamas because of its status in the Arab and Islamic world.

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