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Boycotting Hamas was a big mistake: Blair
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Gaza, ALRAY - Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair acknowledged that he along with other leaders in the world have made a mistake in supporting the boycott of Hamas after its success in the 2006 elections.

He said in an interview that to be used in a book called “Gaza prepared for the dawn", will be issued at the end of this month, that the international community had had to drag Hamas to dialogue rather than boycott.

Blair was Britain's prime minister when Hamas succeeded in the elections and formed a Palestinian government, and strongly supported the administration of former US President George W. Bush to boycott the movement.

The Quartet called on Hamas to recognize "Israel”, renounce violence and abide by the agreements concluded by Fatah with Israel that resulted in the formation of the Palestinian Authority.

Hamas, which won elections, rejected the conditions, leading to 11 years of tight besiege , the Observer newspaper reported.

According to a UN report, the siege imposed on the Gaza Strip and the three Israeli military aggressions against Gaza made it unsustainable.

Israel objection was one of the factors that did not lead to dialogue with Hamas, although it was conducted informally later, Blair said.

It is noteworthy that since Blair left work with the Quartet, he did six long meetings with then the head of the political bureau of Hamas Khaled Meshaal and his successor Ismail Haniyeh.

The paper says that "one of the objectives of those meetings is to negotiate a long-term cease-fire with Israel.