Hamas lashes out at Bush speech on Mideast peace

By Xinhua

Gaza : A senior official from the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) has slammed a speech by US President George W. Bush, who vowed support to President Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian National Authority (PNA).

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The US president delivered a speech on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at the White House in Washington Monday, voicing strong support for Abbas and his moderate Fatah movement.

Ahmed Yousef, a moderate Hamas official and the political advisor of sacked Prime Minister Ismail Haneya, blasted Bush’s remarks, saying, “Hamas has never expected any fair or positive position from the US Administration.”

“The US Administration has a strategy that would never suddenly change, because it still considers Hamas movement as a terrorist organization,” Yousef said.

Abbas and his Fatah movement are controlling the West Bank while Hamas is holding the Gaza Strip after it seized control of the coastal enclave by violence on June 14.

In the wake of Hamas’ takeover of Gaza, Abbas sacked the three-month-old national unity government and swore in an emergency replacement led by Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in the West Bank, which has changed into a caretaker one under Abbas’ decree Friday.

During the speech, Bush said Abbas and Salam Fayyad, “are striving to build the institutions of a modern democracy. But Hamas has demonstrated beyond all doubt that it is devoted to extremism and murder”.

Bush announced a number of measures, including $190 million in aid to the Palestinians during Monday’s speech.

“This year, we will provide the Palestinians with more than 190 million dollars in American assistance including funds for humanitarian relief in Gaza,” Bush said in a televised speech at the White House.

In response, Yousef said, “Unfortunately, the US is gambling on Abu Mazen (Abbas).”

“The US believes that Abbas is ready to give Israel all what it wants. Abbas has a list of concessions to give to Israel, which wants to control not only the Palestinian territories, but all the Arab area,” said Yousef.

Yousef stressed that his movement “would never make concessions to Israel or to the US, including the question of the recognition of the Jewish state”.

“All what Hamas wants is to end the Israeli military occupation of the Palestinian territories without making any concession,” said Yousef.

He expressed hope that a new American administration “that would replace Bush administration after the upcoming elections in the US, might positively change its position towards Hamas movement”.

“The current Bush Administration together with Israel and some Arab regimes have been leading a conspiracy against Hamas movement, ” said Yousef.