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Palestine | International

Israeli Arab MKs: Hamas win will help peace process
by Haaretz (reposted)
Thursday Jan 26th, 2006 5:14 PM
Hamas' victory in the Palestinian elections will contribute to the peace process, Israeli Arab officials said Thursday.
"Just as only [Ariel] Sharon was capable of making peace with the Palestinians, only Hamas will make peace with Israel," said MK Abdulmalik Dehamshe (United Arab List), who is associated with the southern faction of the Islamic Movement, in a press statement. "Israel should stop claiming there is no partner for peace."

Dehamshe also met Thursday with Mohammed Abu Tir, who is number two on Hamas' list, to offer his congratulations on the victory.

Sheikh Hashem Abdel Rahman, spokesman for the northern faction of the Islamic Movement, also congratulated Hamas on its victory, but urged it to set up a unity government with Fatah. He, too, said he believed Hamas would further the peace process. "They have enough wise men who will know how to act," he said.

MK Jamal Zahalka (Balad) urged Israel to conduct negotiations with the Palestinian Authority's new leaders, saying the results of the elections must be respected. "Those who hope for the democratization of the Arab world must honor the Palestinian people's decision," he said.

MK Ahmed Tibi (Movement for Arab Renewal), like Rahman, urged Hamas to form a coalition with Fatah, adding that any coalition would have to negotiate with Israel.

http://www.haaretzdaily.com/hasen/spages/675455.html
by Haaretz (reposted)
Thursday Jan 26th, 2006 5:14 PM
TEHRAN - The Iranian Foreign Ministry said Thursday that the country welcomes the victory of Hamas in the Palestinian Legislative Council election and hopes the result will strengthen resistance against Israel.

The United States and Israel accuse Iran of arming and funding militant groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad. But Iran says it only gives moral support to the Palestinian groups.

"Iran ... hopes that the powerful presence of Hamas at the [political] scene brings about great achievements for the Palestinian nation," said Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi in a statement faxed to Reuters.

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http://www.haaretzdaily.com/hasen/spages/675298.html
by UK Independent (reposted)
Saturday Jan 28th, 2006 8:37 AM


In one sense, of course, the volatile new politics of the Middle East, the seismic shock of what Palestinian electors have done, and the Israeli elections still to come, is a function of the absence of two men: Yasser Arafat, who died in November 2004, and Ariel Sharon, who suffered a major stroke this January.

They were old enemies, the latter wishing aloud he had killed the former when he had the chance. But they had something in common (for three decades or more in the late Palestinian president's case, only very recently in the case of the Israeli Prime Minister): an ability to embody for many in their constituencies a sense of nationhood that went beyond mere party politics. After Mr Arafat died, it was surely high time for a new generation to emerge within Fatah, the organisation he founded with Abu Jihad in 1959 and which was so severely trounced in Wednesday's election.

Ironically, Mahmoud Abbas, though strictly a member of the "old guard", seems to have seen this. He is now again the man of the moment, the one man no one, including many in Israel and the West, who could have done more to help him during the past year, wants to resign as President.

But while he managed to see off Ahmad Qureia his unco-operative Prime Minister, and to install the jailed Marwan Barghouti (whom Israel may finally see the advantage of releasing) as number one on the candidate's list, many of those who remained on that list were associated with inefficiency, corruption and sclerosis.

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http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/article341515.ece