Chirac: Violence is dead end for Hamas

Hamas must continue to respect a truce with Israel and understand that "violence is a dead end" for the Palestinians, French President Jacques Chirac said in an interview published Wednesday, before his embarkment on a two-day trip to Egypt. Chirac told Al Ahram, Egypt's leading daily, that it was still too early to judge how the Palestinians' new Hamas-led government will affect hopes for peace in the region. "As of now, we call on Hamas to understand that the path of violence is a dead end, and to pursue its transition toward political action by continuing to respect the truce and committing to a process of renunciation of violence and recognition of Israel." In the same article, Chirac called upon Israel to stop its policy of targeted assassinations, not to take unilateral steps and to freeze what he called the colonization of the Palestinian territories.