The hardline Islamic group Hamas vowed to continue its attacks as long as Israel failed to make substantial concessions, despite a “positive” meeting between the Palestinian and Israeli premiers. Hamas’ position came as Palestinian premier Mahmud Abbas faced pressure from both Israel and the United States to dismantle “terrorist” organisations once and for all ahead of his summit next week with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and US President George W. Bush. Abbas and Sharon met late Thursday at the latter’s west Jerusalem office for the second time in as many weeks to discuss kickstarting the so-called “roadmap” for peace unveiled a month ago. Israel gave its qualified acceptance to the plan on Sunday. In a boost for the plan, a Friday poll revealed that a solid majority of Israelis supports the creation of a Palestinian state in line with the US-backed roadmap. The internationally drafted document proposes a Palestinian state by 2005 alongside a secure Israel but also demands an end to anti-Israeli attacks by radical Palestinian groups. Full Story
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