Hamas has strongly denied claims made by British businessman David Abrahams that it is prepared to recognise Israel.
The Jerusalem Post reported that after meeting Labour Party donor Mr Abrahams in Hebron, the Hamas Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Aziz Dwaik, had said that the group was prepared to renounce the Hamas charter, which calls for the destruction of Israel.
Mr Dwaik has since denied he ever said such a thing, and wrote on the Hamas website that the group would never recognise any occupation of Palestinian lands.
Hamas senior leader Salah Al-Bardawil also dismissed the reports. He said: “The quotes are not true. Hamas’ stand regarding the Zionist entity’s recognition is clear.”
Mr Abrahams, a Newcastle property developer and a key player in Labour’s “donorgate” scandal, met Mr Dwaik earlier this week.
He told the Jerusalem Post that he would be briefing Foreign Secretary David Miliband this weekend on the meeting.