Bush urges Hamas to become partner in peace in middle east
Palestine-Israel-USA, Politics, 1/30/2006
The recent Palestinian elections, which resulted in 76 of the 132 seats of the Palestinian legislature going to the Islamic militant group HAMAS, showed the Palestinian people's desire for change, President Bush said in a January 27 interview with CBS.
The results "reminded me that the elections are windowpanes of the actual conditions in society," he said. "A lot of us were assuming that maybe life was this way or that way, and all of a sudden the people showed up to vote and said we want something different, we want good, honest government; we want people to listen to our needs; we want people to provide services so our families can... grow up and be prosperous."
The elections marked the first time HAMAS has participated in the Palestinian political process. HAMAS, which has claimed responsibility for numerous attacks against Israeli civilians and military targets, has been designated a terrorist organization by the State Department.
Bush urged HAMAS to dismantle the "armed and violent" arm of its party and to renounce the part of its political platform that calls for the destruction of Israel, an ally of the United States. "I don't see how you can be a partner in peace when you don't renounce violent aims," he said.
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