Hamas official: US 'sowing sedition'

Abu Marzouk slams American policy, praises Abbas for withstanding pressure.

Hamas abu marzouk 248 88 ap (photo credit: AP [file])
Hamas abu marzouk 248 88 ap
(photo credit: AP [file])
A senior Hamas official on Monday accused the United States of "sowing sedition" among the Palestinians, hours after US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice held a rare summit with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. Moussa Abu Marzouk, Hamas's deputy political leader, told a Palestinian rally at the Yarmouk refugee camp near this Syrian capital that US policy was based on "sowing sedition among the peoples and states of the region through dividing the Middle East into two camps: A moderate camp and a non-moderate one." Monday's three-way summit - initially billed as a new peace push - produced few results amid concerns over an emerging Palestinian unity government led by Hamas. Rice said following the two-hour meeting in Jerusalem that the two sides exchanged views of the political future and agreed to hold another summit. On Sunday, Rice said in the West Bank city of Ramallah that she wouldn't judge the new Palestinian government until it has been formed. Abu Marzouk, who lives in exile in Syria, thanked Abbas, also known as Abu Mazen, for resisting what he called "US pressures" exerted by Rice during her visit. "These pressures exerted by Rice on Abu Mazen during Sunday's and Monday's meetings to abandon the agreement [with Hamas] and promising him support, and his resisting these pressures deserve appreciation," Abu Marzouk told the rally. The international community has demanded that any Palestinian government recognize Israel, accept previous peace deals and renounce violence, but the coalition government deal, forged earlier this month in Saudi Arabia, only pledges to "respect" past peace agreements. Abu Marzouk praised the power-sharing government agreement designed to stop fighting between Hamas and Abbas's more moderate Fatah party. The agreement allows the government to be based on "partnership, rather than domination of one party on power," he said. On Sunday, Abu Marzouk called on the US administration and the international community to deal positively and reasonably with a Palestinian national unity government.