Bush administration urged not to deal with Hamas

Often using harsh rhetoric, members of the House International Relations Committee from both parties called Thursday on the Bush administration to stand firm in its decision not to deal with Hamas so long as it refused to meet US conditions. "If Hamas remains committed to Israel's destruction, it will be impossible for the Palestinian Authority to be a credible negotiating partner," committee chairman Henry Hyde said. The committee's top Democrat, Rep. Tom Lantos, said there must be "an end to humanitarian assistance" to the Palestinians with the exception of food, water and medicine. Hamas has not changed its anti-Israel rhetoric "one iota" since the Islamic group won parliamentary elections in January, said Lantos.