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US Denies Initiating Talks With Hamas

© AP Photo / Khalil HamraPalestinian Hamas masked gunmen display their military skills during a rally to commemorate the 27th anniversary of the Hamas militant group, in Gaza City, Sunday, Dec. 14, 2014
Palestinian Hamas masked gunmen display their military skills during a rally to commemorate the 27th anniversary of the Hamas militant group, in Gaza City, Sunday, Dec. 14, 2014 - Sputnik International
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US State Department spokesperson claims US has never tried to spark covert discussions with members of the Palestinian-based Islamic group Hamas, despite media reports suggesting otherwise.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The United States has never tried to spark covert discussions with members of the Palestinian-based Islamic group Hamas, despite media reports suggesting otherwise, US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said.

“Our policy has not changed,” Psaki said on Monday, after being asked to comment on a report that suggested the United States tried to conduct backchannel talks with Hamas.

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Psaki confirmed that it was her understanding that no US government agency has ever tried to initiate discussions with Hamas.

The news organization Al Jazeera announced earlier on Monday that it had obtained hundreds of secret intelligence documents, including a cable that indicated the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) tried to contact Hamas in 2012.

The State Department officially designated Hamas as a foreign terrorist organization in 1997, according to a list posted on the US Bureau of Counterterrorism’s website.

Al Jazeera announced it is working with The Guardian newspaper to publish in the coming days a selection of the leaked documents from several intelligence agencies, including Israel's Mossad, Britain's MI6, Russia's FSB, Australia's ASIO and South Africa's SSA.

 

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