Hamas: No point in relying on US as an honest broker

Ismail Radwan calls US president's speech to AIPAC a "disaster"; Sami Abu Zuhri: Obama's comments show Washington will "support the occupation at the expense of the freedom of the Palestinian people."

By JPOST.COM STAFF
May 22, 2011 22:56
2 minute read.
Hamas Spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri

Hamas Spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri 311 (R). (photo credit: Osman Orsal / Reuters)

 
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Hamas on Sunday rejected US President Barack Obama’s call to recognize Israel and accused him of being biased in favor of Israel.

In response to Obama’s speech before AIPAC, Hamas also urged the Palestinian Authority to reconsider its policies toward the Middle East peace process, saying there was no point in relying on the US as an honest broker.

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The PA, in contrast, did not respond by late Sunday to Obama’s address to AIPAC.

Hamas spokesman Ismail Radwan said that in light of Obama’s new speech, the PA should reconsider its position toward the peace process and increase efforts to achieve national unity.

“Obama’s speech is a disaster to all those who have been bidding on US policies and positions,” Radwan said. “We reject such statements which prove that the Americans are completely biased in favor of occupation at the expense of Palestinian rights.”

The Hamas spokesman strongly condemned the Obama Administration for “supporting the security of the Zionists and ignoring Palestinian rights.”

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Radwan said that it has become obvious now that the Obama Administration is not talking about the 1967 lines or a Palestinian state. “What they are doing now is deception,” he said in reference to Obama’s speech at the AIPAC conference.

Another Hamas spokesman on Sunday also commented on Obama's speech saying it will not force Hamas to recognize Israel.

Obama explicitly referenced the need for Hamas to adhere to the Quartet principles after it recently entered into a Palestinian national unity government, whose formation he called “an enormous obstacle to peace.”

“No country can be expected to negotiate with a terrorist organization sworn to its destruction,” Obama said to cheers from the more than 10,000 AIPAC activists filling the massive convention center hall. “We will continue to demand that Hamas accept the basic responsibilities of peace, including recognizing Israel’s right to exist and rejecting violence and adhering to all existing agreements."

In response, spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri was quoted as saying by Ma'an that, "The US administration will fail, just as all others have in the past, in forcing Hamas to recognize the occupation," and that Obama's speech showed the US was "not a friend to the people of the region."

The Hamas spokesman added that Obama's continued support of Israel signaled that the US was biased, and would "support the occupation at the expense of the freedom of the Palestinian people," Ma'an quoted him as saying.

He accused Obama of denying the right for Palestinians to have an independent state, referring to the US president's comments that "No vote at the United Nations will ever create an independent Palestinian state.”

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