JERUSALEM – An aide to a member of the U.S. Congress held a secret meeting in the Gaza Strip with leaders of the Hamas terrorist organization, according to information obtained by WND.
Sources intimately familiar with the meeting told WND the aide, a woman, met in Gaza on Nov. 30 with Ahmed Yousef, Hamas’ chief political adviser in Gaza, and Siad Siam, Hamas’ “interior minister.” Siam served as chief of Hamas’ executive force, a guerrilla militia heavily involved in terrorism, until he was eliminated in an Israeli strike last month.
According to the sources speaking to WND, the meeting took place at the Museum, a fish restaurant in the Sudaniya neighborhood of the Gaza Strip, just next to the Gaza port. The restaurant is owned by the brother of Jamal al-Khudari, who heads the Palestinian Authority’s Committee for Breaking the Israeli Siege on Gaza.
WND’s sources said the aide – whose name and congressman they refused to divulge – entered Gaza under the cover of the United Nations Relief and Work Agency, or UNWRA, which came under fire this past weekend for reportedly handing Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., a Hamas letter to deliver to President Obama.
Kerry’s visit to Gaza, which took place last Thursday, coincided with a similar trip that same day by U.S. Representatives Brian Baird, D-Wash., and Keith Ellison, D-Minn.
Hamas’ official charter calls for the murder of Jews and the destruction of Israel. The Islamist group is responsible for scores of suicide bombings, shootings and rocket attacks aimed at Jewish civilians.
A spokesman for the State Department confirmed to WND the congressional aide’s purported meeting with Hamas would break U.S. law.
Mushir al-Massri, a Hamas spokesman and Hamas parliament member, told WND his group is in direct communication with members of Congress.
“We are speaking to U.S. Congressmen,” he claimed, “also members of the European Parliament.”
Hamas’ Yousef also said his Islamist group was in contact with members of the U.S. Congress, but he wouldn’t divulge any names.
Official U.S. policy supports sidestepping Hamas, but the group has been making major inroads toward ending its isolation.
Some trace Hamas’ claim of newfound international dialogue to Jimmy Carter’s visit in April, when the former president met with top Hamas officials.
Immediately after Carter’s meeting, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner confirmed Paris held talks with Hamas, and Norway’s deputy foreign minister, Raymond Johansan, admitted meeting with Hamas leader Ismail Haniya.
Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum confirmed to WND that Hamas this year “met a delegation from the European Parliament, from France, and from Italy, and Norway, and from the EU parliament and from Carter.”
“All of these are supporting Hamas, and they have a plan to support Palestinian rights and interests,” Barhoum said, speaking from Gaza.