Obama won't deal with Hamas, 'Post' told

US President-elect's spokesperson says unsourced story in Britain's The Guardian daily not accurate.

Obama 248.88  (photo credit: AP)
Obama 248.88
(photo credit: AP)
The incoming Obama administration will not abandon President George Bush's doctrine of isolating Hamas, the Obama transition team's chief national security spokeswoman has told The Jerusalem Post. President-elect Barack Obama "has repeatedly stated that he believes that Hamas is a terrorist organization dedicated to Israel's destruction, and that we should not deal with them until they recognize Israel, renounce violence, and abide by past agreements," said Brooke Anderson in a statement to the Post. Those conditions match the international Quartet's long-standing demands from Hamas, shared by Israel. The Obama spokeswoman was responding to an article in Britain's Guardian newspaper on Friday. The report asserted that three people with knowledge of discussions held in the Obama camp said that while the president-elect would not approve direct diplomatic negotiations with Hamas early on, his advisers were urging him to initiate low-level or clandestine approaches, in light of the growing belief in Washington that ostracizing the terror group is a counterproductive policy. "The president-elect's repeated statements [about not dealing with Hamas] are accurate," Anderson said. "This unsourced story is not." The US State Department designated Hamas a terrorist organization, and in 2006 Congress passed a law banning US financial aid to the group.