At a joint news conference with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in the Turkish capital Ankara, President Abdullah Gul said peace could not be achieved if Hamas was not involved.One of the things that Gul overlooked, as Khalil Shikaki--director of the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research--pointed out in a New York Times op-ed:
"Nobody should be excluded when these talks are held. Unfortunately the Palestinians are divided in two. They must be united and to unite them there must be talks with both sides. The Hamas side won elections in Gaza and so cannot be ignored," Gul said.
In January , President Mahmoud Abbas, the Fatah leader who was elected in 2005, and the Hamas-controlled Parliament, elected in 2006, will come to the end of their terms. Hamas and Fatah have not arranged for new elections.And they still haven't.
Putting aside the odd argument that electing terrorists means you have to speak with them--the fact is that, not surprisingly, Hamas is no longer the elected representatives of Gazans.
Israel's response to Russia and Turkey was more polite:
Hamas is a terrorist organization in every sense of the word; its declared purpose is the destruction of the State of Israel. Members of Hamas have been responsible for the murder of hundreds of innocent civilians, including Russian citizens and other former residents of the CIS. It is totally unacceptable for enlightened nations to divide terrorists into "good" and "bad" according to some geographical division. Terrorists are terrorists, and Israel does not see any difference between the Hamas terror operating against Israel and the Chechen terror operating against Russia. There is no difference between Khaled Mashal and Shamil Basayev.
Technorati Tag: Hamas and Gaza.