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Published:April 21st, 2008 06:03 EST
Jimmy Carter claims Hamas wants to vote

Jimmy Carter claims Hamas wants to vote

By SOP newswire

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter says the leaders of the Palestinian militant group Hamas told him they will accept a peace agreement with Israel, if one is approved in a Palestinian referendum.

Speaking in Jerusalem Monday, Mr. Carter said Hamas would not undermine the efforts of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to negotiate an agreement with Israel.

Hamas is a rival of Mr. Abbas' Fatah group.

Mr. Carter met with leaders of Hamas in Egypt and Syria during a tour of the region.  Israel and the United States have criticized Mr. Carter for agreeing to meet with leaders of Hamas, which both countries consider a terrorist group.

In the latest violence in the region, Israeli troops killed a Hamas gunman during fighting in the northern Gaza Strip today Monday.

Hamas and Palestinian medical officials say the early morning clash took place in the town of Beit Hanoun.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said troops operating in the area fired on the gunmen after coming under attack.

In other news, the Israeli military said Sunday it will investigate the killing of a cameraman for the Reuters news agency, after a human rights group said it found evidence suggesting an Israeli tank crew fired recklessly or deliberately at his team.

Human Rights Watch had called for an probe into the case of Fadel Shana, who died while filming a tank near Gaza's border with Israel Wednesday.  Reuters released the final video footage from his camera that shows a tank shell coming towards him. 

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.