Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Obstacles to peace

Hamas wants to create a climate of peace and end all internal strife. But the international community must fully engage with us.

By Ahmed Yousef

"The events in Gaza over the last few days have been described in the west as a coup. In essence they have been the opposite. Eighteen months ago Hamas won the Palestinian elections and entered office but never had the handover of power from Fatah, the losing party. The Palestinian president, Abu Mazen, has now tried to replace the winning Hamas government with one of his own, returning the losing Fatah party to power while more than 40 of our elected parliamentarians in the West Bank languish in Israeli jails. That is the real coup.......

We reject attempts to divide Palestine into two parts and to pass Hamas off as an extreme and dangerous force. We believe as we have said many times that there is still a chance to establish a long-term truce that will guarantee a peace of mind for all for many years to come. But this will not happen without a full engagement of Hamas by the international community. Any further attempts to marginalise, starve our people into submission or attack us militarily will prove that the US and Israeli governments are not genuinely interested in seeing an end to the violence. Dispassionate observers over the next few weeks will be able to make up their own minds as to each side's true intentions."

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