RealNews

US publicly condemns Hamas, but privately rails at Israel

Colin Powell told Palestinian leaders yesterday to take on the militant group Hamas and urged Israel to pull out of the Gaza Strip and curb assassinations of Palestinian militants. General Powell, the US Secretary of State, was here to try to rescue the road-map peace plan personally backed by President George Bush, which calls for an independent Palestinian state by 2005. Hopes at the Aqaba summit this month that the peace process might finally move forward after two and a half years of bloodshed have since evaporated in yet another round of tit-for-tat violence. General Powell pinned most of the blame for that violence on the Palestinian militant group Hamas yesterday, at least in public. “The enemy of peace has been Hamas,” he said. As long as Hamas remained committed to violence, he added: “This is a problem we have to deal with in its entirety.” The Secretary of State said that negotiating a ceasefire with Hamas, as Abu Mazen, the Palestinian Prime Minister, has been trying to do, was not enough. Full Story

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