Monday, May 31, 2010

Obama administration engaging with Hamas

From JPost, 31/5/10, by KHALED ABU TOAMEH:

A number of Hamas leaders have hinted over the past few days that the US administration has begun talking to the Islamist movement through both official and non-official channels.

...Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum on Sunday called on President Barack Obama to reconsider the entire US policy vis-à-vis the Middle East and to “fulfill his promises to the Palestinians by distancing himself from pro-Zionist policies.” ...Barhoum said that Hamas sees Obama continuing the “destructive doctrine” of his predecessor, George W. Bush, by supporting Israel and its military capabilities. “Obama’s policy is in violation of the famous speech that he delivered in Cairo [in June 2009] and in which he promised the peoples of the Middle East peace, security, freedom and mutual respect,” he added.

Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal ...and other top Hamas officials recently met with a number of American delegations that visited Damascus and the Gaza Strip. ...Taher a-Nunu, spokesman for the Hamas government, said that [prime minister] Haniyeh sent a letter to Obama a few months ago calling for an end to Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip and Washington’s “double standards” toward the Middle East conflict.

Nunu said that the letter also included a request to Obama to change his policy toward the Palestinians and their rights. He said that Hamas’s decision to initiate contact with Obama came in response to his “positive” statements during his visits to Egypt and Turkey.
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