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> Palestinian Islamist group Hamas has dropped its long-standing call for Israel's destruction. But it's somewhat softened stance, still rejects the country's right to exist and backs armed resistance against Tel Aviv. The change met with skepticism by both Israel's government who calls it a deception after decades of conflict, but also from Hamas' chief Palestinian rival, Fatah, the political party of President Mahmoud Abbas.
Reuters in Gaza.>> Fatah spokesman has responded cooly to the Hamas document and he has even requested an apology from the Islamist fashion. In Hamas had come to conclusion which Fatah had come to decades ago. It took Hamas 30 years Hamas's new policy document supports the creation of a Palestinian state, using borders established during the 1967 War.
>> The basis of peace talks mediated by the United States that collapsed three years ago. And sources say the change was timed to coincide with a trip by Abbas to visit US President Donald Trump in Washington on Wednesday. Hamas is also dropping its affiliation with the Muslim Brotherhood, which appears to be an attempt at easing ties with Egypt and the Gulf Arab states.
They view the Brotherhood as a terrorist group. Improved relations between Israel and Egypt also likely playing into the equation. Yet what effect Hamas's decision may have on all this is yet to be seen. This document, in theory, should cement Palestinian ranks in any kind of upcoming negotiations. But in practice, the political disputes between Hamas and Fatah are resolved this chance will be missed.
>> Hamas has fought three wars with Israel since 2007, and has carried out hundreds of rocket and suicide bombing attacks.