The Palestinian Hamas group will remove the call for Israel's destruction and drop its association with the Muslim Brotherhood in a new policy document to be issued Monday, Gulf Arab sources have said.
Hamas's move appears aimed at improving relations with Gulf Arab states and Egypt, which label the Brotherhood a terrorist organization, as well as with Western countries, many of which classify Hamas as a terrorist group because of its hostility toward Israel.
Hamas officials also said that the group's leader will present a new political program Monday that no longer contains explicit language calling for Israel's destruction.
However, the manifesto retains the group's goal of eventually "liberating" all of the territories between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River, including what is now Israel.
The program is to be made public in Qatar by Khaled Mashaal, the leader-in-exile of Hamas, which runs the Gaza Strip. The Hamas officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not allowed to reveal details to the media.
The five-page document adopts seemingly more moderate language in hopes of helping Hamas break out of its international isolation. It does not formally replace the group's fiery 1987 founding charter.
In the new program, Hamas redefines itself as a national liberation group, distancing it from its parent movement, the pan-Arab Muslim Brotherhood, which has been outlawed by Gaza neighbor Egypt.
Mashaal's news conference was to begin at 7 p.m. (1600 GMT) at a five-star hotel. But Hamas said it had to delay the presentation after the Doha hotel withdrew consent to host a news conference by the group.
Hamas said the news conference is now set to start at 8:45 p.m. (1745 GMT) at a different hotel in Doha.
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