President Barack Obama’s Mideast policy speech today was a “total failure,” Hamas said this evening. “The (Arab) nation does not need a lesson on democracy from Obama,” said Hamas spokesman in the Gaza Strip, Sami Abu-Zuhri. “Rather, Obama is the one who needs the lesson given his absolute endorsement of Israel’s crimes and his refusal to condemn Israel’s occupation.”
“We will not recognize the Israeli occupation under any circumstances,” the Hamas spokesman said, while adding: “We object to intervention in our internal affairs.”
Abu-Zuhri also urged the Palestinian Authority not to endorse the American president’s speech. He stressed the need to coordinate Palestinian positions in the face of what he referred to as “American-Israeli arrogance.”
Other Hamas sources said the president’s speech was “deceptive.”
Immediately following Obama’s speech, the Palestinian Authority’s leadership met for an urgent session convened by PA President Mahmoud Abbas.
The president’s spokesman, Nabil Abu-Rudaina, took the opportunity to condemn Israel’s decision Thursday to build 1,550 new homes in the Jerusalem area, beyond the Green Line.
“It’s a despicable act and the American Administration must make sure that Israel bears the responsibility for the ongoing deterioration of the peace process,” he said. “We respect the American decision to revive the peace process.”