Hamas: Rice’s conditions are rejected

Hamas: Rice’s conditions are rejected

The Hamas Movement expressed its rejection of the conditions set by American secretary of state Condoleezza Rice for the Movement during her visit to Bahrain Monday, underlining that the American administration does not recognize the Movement and thus cannot set such terms.

In an exclusive statement to the PIC, Dr. Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesman, stated that “once Rice and the US Administration recognize Hamas and the Palestinian people”s rights, the Movement will be willing to hold dialogue with them, but in light of their attitude, their conditions are rejected.”

Rice said in Manama that Hamas must take certain steps to prove that it wishes to achieve peace, adding that Hamas must release the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, halt rocket fire, and go back on the so called coup in Gaza.

In another context, Dr. Salah Al-Bardawil, the spokesman for the Hamas parliamentary bloc, denied that Hamas backtracked on its position after it told informed US former president Jimmy Carter that it would respect a peace agreement between the PA and Israel if it was submitted to a popular referendum, pointing out that this step depends on ending the internal discord first.

In a televised statement, Dr. Bardawil explained Monday that this position of Hamas was stipulated in the national accord document under which Hamas agreed that PA chief Mahmoud Abbas could negotiate with the Israeli side in order to achieve the objectives stated in the document.

The MP elaborated that these objectives are related to the establishment of a fully sovereign Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital and the return of refugees, adding that if these goals were fulfilled, Abbas then could call for a popular referendum.

“No referendum or negotiations can be held apart from Hamas and all that is interdependent; we do not delegate Abbas in a state of division and no referendum can be held in such a state, so the first step is to reunite the Palestinian people through unconditional national dialog,” the lawmaker highlighted.

Bardawil underscored that Hamas took this step as a political solution acceptable to all Palestinian parties, but it is not a step to recognize Israeli occuapation of Palestine.