Hamas vows to thwart peace efforts

Sunday, May 06, 2007 |  by Staff Writer

The Hamas terrorist organization at the weekend vowed to use its political power in the Palestinian Authority and its armed forces on the ground to thwart an American initiative to move the region closer to peace.

Last week, the Bush Administration published a list of benchmarks for the implementation of Israeli and Palestinian peace obligations.

On Friday, overall Hamas leader Khaled Mashal said from his headquarters in Damascus that the plan was "a farce," and insisted that Israel's removal of military roadblocks would not be met by a reciprocal cessation of Palestinian terrorist violence.

A day later, Gaza-based Hamas spokesman Fawzi Baroum said his group had rejected the American plan and would "work to make it fail by any means and by all means."

The Hamas-affiliated Popular Resistance Committees added in a statement carried by Ha'aretz that the fulfillment of peace commitments "does not serve our people's interests."

Israeli officials said they could not adopt the American document in its current form due to ongoing security concerns stemming from the Palestinians' inability and unwillingness to curb terrorist violence against the Jewish state.

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