1. FRIDAY FEATURE: Hamas-backed Christian candidate says new rule is good for Palestinians

Friday, February 03, 2006 | 
Elected as an independent candidate, Hussam al-Taweel managed to get the backing of five other parties, including the terrorist organization turned political party, Hamas. Al-Taweel is a Greek Orthodox Christian, is single and was born and raised in Gaza. He said the election of the radical group Hamas sounded a death knell for Fatah, the former ruling party, accused of corruption. Palestinians, he said, were fed up.

Why did the Palestinian people so resoundingly vote for Hamas in the elections?
They are looking for much better chances to solve their social problems, to stop the corruption. We are looking to gain national rights, independence, to establish our independent state. We are hoping for a better life.

Are Palestinian Christians fearful now with Hamas in power?
We are keeping our Christianity and I think there is no fear we will suffer from any discrimination in our society. We are not suffering from persecution.

Some evangelical Christians believe the whole Land belongs to Israel. What do you believe?
I don’t think religion has anything to do with politics. I am calling that the church would come out from the circle of politics. This doesn’t help political speech.

This way of thinking, politics and religion, will force the other side to do the same. Then we will see their religion fight. We are not looking for that.

What about the rest of the world’s declaration that they will not talk to Hamas because it is a recognized terrorist organization?
I am insisting not to leave Hamas alone and not to cut every kind of understanding with Hamas in order not to force her to into a corner.
-Nicole Jansezian-

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