SHARON REJECTS U.S. PRESSURE OVER HAMAS

PM Sharon:
‘Israel Will Do All It Can To Prevent Hamas Terrorists
Participating In Upcoming Palestinian Election’

MK Steinitz:
‘Jerusalem Must Say No To U.S. Secretary Of State Rice’

MK Eitam:
‘It Would Be Like U.S. Negotiating With Al Qaeda’

Broadcast October 7th, 2005 on IsraCast.com


Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has rejected American pressure to allow the Hamas terror organization to participate in the Palestinian election in January. Sharon was addressing the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, shortly before the arrival of U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who has been pressing Jerusalem to cooperate with the participation of Hamas. Right wing MKs contend that to do so would be similar to the U.S. agreeing to negotiate with Al Qaeda.
Audio Interviews:

Listen to MK's Steintz and Eitam

‘Israel will do all it can to hamper the participation of Hamas in the Palestinian election slated for January’. That’s the position of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon despite mounting U.S. presure on Israel to go along with Hamas running for seats in the Palestinian parliament. Sharon told the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that Hamas calls for the destruction of Israel and the Jewish people and has caried out numerous attacks that killed and wounded Israelis. Hamas would endanger the entire peace process and violates the Roadmap and other understandings with the Palestinians. Only if Hamas jettisons its anti- Israeli stance and gives up its weapons and terror infrastructure could it become a partner for Israel. Sharon said Israel’s position has been made clear to the international community and although the Palestinian election was an internal affair, the participation of Hamas would determine Israel’s approach. In the former Palestinian election of PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas, Israel cooperated by lifting roadblocks and allowing freedom of movement for candidates and voters. The Prime Minister implied that this would not be the case if Hamas runs.

In committee, right-wing MKs like chairman Yuval Steinitz of the Likud and Effi Eitam of the National Union backed Sharon to the hilt. Steinitz said Israel must be ready to say No to U.S. Secretary of State Condoleez Rice when she arrives in Israel later this week. On this score, MK Effi Eitam said for Israel to agree to negotiate with Hamas would be similar to the U.S. negotiatingb with Al Qaeda.

A senior IDF inteligence officer said the chaos in the Palestinian areas is going from bad to worse. The security forces of Mahmoud Abbas were not lifting a finger to curb the terrorists who continue to rule the roost. Opposition leader Tommy Lapid of Shinui asked the PM if Israel would negotiate with Abbas if the Palestinian leader reined in the terrorists, even if he did not dismantle their organizations. Sharon replied he would not wait for the Palestinian Authority to crack down; Israel would keep hitting the terrorists. Sharon revealed that recently Israeli security forces informed the Palestinians of the location of a terrorist fugitive. Palestinian security then went through the motions of arresting him for a few hours and then letting him go to plan more attacks. Israel then tracked him down and killed the terrorist leader. Sharon added that Abbas was doing nothing and: ‘All must know they’ll pay a heavy price for the terrorism.’ The counter- terror camapign was keeping the terrorists on the run and several Islamic Jihad leaders had recently been hit. Sharon made clear Israel would not enter a process with Abbas, who tries to legitimize his refusal to take on the terrorists by claiming he is too weak.

David Essing, ISRACAST, Jerusalem


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Transcription done by Yael Yaffe-Last
Studio Production by Avi Yaffe Jerusalem Recording Studios LTD.

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