White House Dismisses Hamas Vote Gains (AP) By BARRY SCHWEID WASHINGTON 01/28/05 3:42 PM)
AP} ASSOCIATED PRESS
AP} ASSOCIATED PRESS Articles-Index-Top
WASHINGTON - The Bush administration is dismissing the strong showing
of the terrorist group Hamas in Gaza elections.
"What matters is what people actually do," State Department spokesman
Richard Boucher said.
The Palestinians must end violence if they want to achieve statehood,
Boucher said, while once again denouncing Hamas as a terror group.
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon plans to turn Gaza over to the
Palestinians later this year. All Israeli troops and Jewish
settlement in the territory would be withdrawn.
Hamas, which has carried out a number of bombings against Israel, won
an overwhelming victory in local elections in Gaza towns, election
officials said Friday.
The Hamas victory reflected widespread support for the Islamic
movement even as Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas called for an end
to violence against Israel.
"The point that I have to keep making is that what matters is what
people actually do," Boucher said.
"Certainly, we have not changed our view of Hamas as an organization.
We think it needs to be put out of the terrorism business, and that
remains very clear for us," he said.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is planning to meet with Israeli
and Palestinian leaders in the region early next month. She will try
to gauge the interest the two sides may have in holding negotiations
for a peace accord.
On Friday, Shlomo Yanai, a retired Israel general who was a security
adviser to former Prime Ministers Benjamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak,
outlined security measures he said Israel should take in any peace
accord with the Palestinians.
These include establishing the right to dispatch Israeli troops into
the Palestinian state in the event of crisis, Israeli overflights and
demilitarization of the state.
Yanai, speaking at the Brookings Institution´s Saban Center, said
security was the core concern for Israel in moving toward Palestinian
Four years of violence have exhausted Israelis and Palestinians, he
said, and there was now a "window of opportunity" to reach an
agreement. But, Yanai said, "this is a small one, a very fragile one."
--- On the Net: State Department:http://www.state.gov (© 2005 The
Associated Press 01/28/05)
Return to Top
MATERIAL REPRODUCED FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY