Hamas says Quartet calls on Israel to stop settlements “not enough”

By Xinhua,

Gaza : A spokesman for Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) said Saturday that the Quartet Committee calls on Israel to stop settlements and ease the blockade imposed on Gaza “are not enough and need to be more serious.”

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“What is needed is to make practical decisions that oblige the Israeli occupation to stop settlements in the West Bank and lift the blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip,” said Fawzi Barhoum, Hamas spokesman in Gaza.

After Hamas movement took control of the Gaza Strip last summer, Israel imposed a tightened blockade on the enclave and shut down all border crossing points bordering both Israel and Egypt.

Israel, the United States and Europe are still considering Hamas movement as a terrorist organization. Following an increase of rockets attacks, Israel termed Gaza a “hostile entity” and carried out punishing measures against Hamas.

“The Quartet should also respect the democratic choice of the Palestinians and has to give up imposing conditions on the legal elected government of Hamas,” Barhoum told reporters.

The Quartet embargoed Hamas movement after it won in the legislative elections held in the Palestinian territories in January 2006 and formed a first ever government.

The Quartet called on Hamas to recognize the state of Israel, recognize the world-brokered signed agreements and condemn violence.

Hamas rejected the three major conditions of the Quartet in order to end the embargo.

“These conditions had politically and economically isolated the Palestinian people and mounted their pain and suffering over the past two years,” said Barhoum.