Hamas politburo leader Khaled Mashaal warned on Thursday that Hamas would act forcefully to prevent any attempt to push forward elections in the Palestinian Authority.
In an interview with the Lodond-based Arab daily Al-Hayat, which was cited by Israel Radio, Mashaal reiterated that Hamas would not recognize Israel, despite demands by the Quartet.
He noted that if the international community finds a way to give the Palestinians back their rights without an armed struggle, Hamas would adopt such a course of action since, Mashaal claimed, the armed struggle is only a means and not an end.
Mashaal accused Olmert of sabotaging a deal to bring about the release of kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit.
US Consul-General in Jerusalem Jack Wallace accused Hamas of aborting Israel's release of Palestinian prisoners for Ramadan by its kidnapping of Shalit in June.