Countries seeking to promote Middle East peace should note the praise offered by the Hamas-led Palestinian government for the lethal suicide bombing in Tel Aviv, the State Department said Monday.
Spokesman Sean McCormack said diplomats who choose to have contact with Hamas should urge the group to abide by the formula outlined by the Quartet three months ago: renounce violence, recognize Israel and abide by the Palestinian Authority's previous international commitments.
Monday's attack, which killed nine Israelis, was claimed by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. The reaction of Hamas was to describe the attack as a legitimate response to Israeli aggression.
The Quartet comprises the United States, the United Nations, the European Union and Russia.