Hamas: Obama speech will not force us to recognize Israel

Group spokesman slams US president's speech to AIPAC, says 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 21:55
1 minute read.
Hamas Spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri

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

 
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US President Barack Obama's AIPAC speech will not force Hamas to recognize Israel, the group's spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said on Sunday in criticism of Obama's comments.

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.”

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“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."

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In response, Abu Zuhri was quoted as saying 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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