David Abrahams meets Hamas

By Jessica Elgot, January 21, 2010
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David Abrahams has met with key Hamas figure Aziz Dweik

David Abrahams has met with key Hamas figure Aziz Dweik

British businessman David Abrahams claims to have obtained a significant concession from Hamas following a private meeting with the group’s leadership.

Mr Abrahams says that Palestinian Legislative Council speaker Aziz Dwaik told him the organisation “may be prepared” to nullify the Hamas Charter, which calls for the destruction of Israel.

Once a key player in Labour’s “donorgate” scandal, Newcastle property developer Mr Abrahams says he has set out on a personal mission to help negotiate peace in the Middle East.

He met with Mr Dwaik, who was released just three months ago from an Israeli prison, in Hebron earlier this week. He told The Jerusalem Post that he would be briefing Foreign Secretary David Miliband this weekend on the meeting.

He said he was “excited” to facilitate dialogue between Israel and Hamas, and at the progress that had been made.

He said: "The fact that there is a possibility for recognition of Israel is a symbolic gesture. We can all look for good in people and we can all look for bad in people. I always look for the good."

"People might say that I'm naïve, so let them. But I'm prepared to give them a chance because I've got faith and confidence in Dwaik. We can't allow 1.5 million to be festering in the Gaza Strip while the majority of them are good and well-educated."

Mr Abrahams, who was interviewed in the JC about his Hamas connections in January 2009 and who was profiled in May, added: "I recently published an article in the Jewish Chronicle to test the temperature of the water within the Jewish community about Hamas. I found a lot of support among Jews for dealing with Hamas and I was pleasantly surprised."

"Hamas is different from al-Qaida. Hamas is no threat to Western interests."

Mr Dwaik allegedly said: “"The [Hamas] charter was drafted more than 20 years ago. We may be prepared to nullify the charter. No one wants to throw anyone into the sea."

It was also reported that Mr Dweik confirmed Hamas had been receiving donations from Iran but said they wished to be recognised by the international community, especially the European Union.

He also allegedly claimed that Hamas leaders, including Gaza’s Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, has tentatively supported plans for a Palestinian state with pre-1967 borders.

Last updated: 10:21am, January 22 2010