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Leader Tells Arafat to Ease Up on Hamas

World / IN BRIEF : ISRAEL

January 25, 1998|From Times Wire Reports

The spiritual leader of Hamas urged Palestinian President Yasser Arafat's self-rule authority to stop cracking down on the militant Islamic movement and start standing up to Israel. In a rare interview with Israeli television, Sheik Ahmed Yassin decried Palestinian police for rounding up and jailing Hamas members to meet Israeli demands that Arafat take a tougher stance against Islamic extremists. "The Palestinian Authority is hounding the Hamas movement. . . . It is an implementation of the orders and desires of the Americans and Israelis," Yassin said. Hamas has taken responsibility for a series of suicide bombings against Israel.

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