(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Sunday night that the
Palestinians "are not trying to isolate Israel by attempting to achieve
UN recognition of a Palestinian state," the Jordanian Petra News Agency
response to US President Barack Obama’s speech
before AIPAC, Abbas told Jordanian Prime Minister Marouf al-Bakhit
during a meeting that in fact, "the Palestinian Authority is asking for
the recognition of Palestine as an occupied state."
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Abbas, who is visiting Jordan, defended Hamas during his conversation
with the Jordanian prime minister and said that the organization is
"part of the Palestinian society," according to the Jordanian news
Hamas also reacted on Sunday to Obama's speech and rejected his call to recognize
Israel and accused him of being biased in favor of Israel.
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
The PA, in contrast, did not respond by late Sunday to Obama’s address to AIPAC.
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
The Hamas spokesman strongly condemned the Obama
Administration for “supporting the security of the Zionists and ignoring
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.
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.”
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."
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
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.”Khaled Abu Toameh contributed to this report.