Daily Israel Report

Government Sources Admit Failure Re US Stance on Hamas

An Israeli government official acknowledges failure in the attempts to persuade the United States to prevent Hamas from participating in the upcoming PA election.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 10/26/2005, 4:25 PM / Last Update: 10/26/2005, 11:27 AM

U.S. President George Bush did not even raise the issue in his joint press conference last week with PA leader Mahmoud Abbas, often known as Abu Mazen.

"From Israel's standpoint," the official told Arutz-7's Haggai Huberman, "this is a negative result of the Bush-Abbas meeting."

Abbas apparently managed to convince Bush that a clash with Hamas at present would not be desirable, and that it is preferable to integrate Hamas into the democratic process. This, despite Hamas' categorization by the U.S. as a terrorist organization, and Abbas' own fears that Hamas will score major achievements in the election. The election is scheduled for late January 2006.

Prime Minister Sharon threatened in the past to do "everything [he] could" to undermine the election if Hamas is allowed to participate. Israel has since downgraded its threats, and has even resorted to mere name-calling. Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom said last week that Hamas' participation in the election would be a "stroke of insanity."

Huberman notes that the PA newspaper Al-Quds quoted Abu Mazen yesterday as saying that he sees "great importance in the fact that the Palestinian side convinced the Americans of its position regarding" this matter.

Hamas has carried out most of the murderous terrorist attacks against Israel of the past five years, and recognizes neither Israel's right to exist nor the Oslo Accords.

Hamas leader Mahmoud A-Zahar has emphasized many times in the past that while his terror organization may take a break from terrorism to join the political arena for a period of time, it will never abandon its platform of a Palestinian state in all of Israel.