Avid Editor's Insights

US support for Egypt hints at shift on Hamas

Posted by avideditor on March 12, 2008

I really hope the FT is wrong. It looks like the US foreign policy is going in the wrong direction again. Nothing is gained through negotiating with terrorist. With all the pressure from the US, Hamas still fired 4 rockets on to civilian targets in Israel. Thank G-d no one was hurt. Terrorist need to be killed not empowered

US support for Egypt hints at shift on Hamas: “The White House’s statement that it hopes Cairo could convince Hamas to cease attacks on Israel is an apparent change in Washington’s policy on isolating the Islamist group”

In a White House briefing, Dana Perino, spokeswoman for George W. Bush, said she hoped Hamas would stop rocket attacks on Israel from the Gaza Strip after contacts between Cairo and the Palestinian group.

Asked whether the US wanted Egypt to act as an intermediary in indirect negotiations between Israel and Hamas, Ms Perino said: “The president wants their participation and their co-operation … And I think you saw last week after secretary [of state Condoleezza] Rice’s trip, both to Egypt and to the Palestinian territories in Israel [sic], that they tried to reach out and are trying to do a little bit more with Hamas.

She added: “We’ve seen a decrease in the amount of rockets that are coming across from Gaza into Israel – and the way that Gaza can stop Israel from retaliating is to stop attacking them in the first place.”

US officials have been increasingly concerned that an escalation of violence in Gaza could spiral out of control and deal a devastating blow to the faltering Israeli-Palestinian peace process launched last year at the Annapolis conference hosted by the US administration.

The US has consistently ruled out any suggestion that it might endorse indirect talks between Israel and Hamas. Israeli officials have also insisted in recent days that there are no direct or indirect talks with Hamas. At the same time, they have welcomed Egypt’s diplomatic initiative.

Violence has decreased sharply since last week but the lull was disrupted on Wednesday when Israeli security forces killed four Palestinians in Bethlehem. The Israeli army said the four men were “terrorists”.

(Via avideditorla’s shared items in Google Reader.)

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