Saturday, June 16, 2007

Hamas Victory Is The Result of Bush Strategic Political Failure

Ohio Democratic congressman Dennis Kucinich's congressional website posted the following press release.

Hamas Victory Is The Result of Bush Strategic Political Failure

Washington, Jun 15 - WASHINGTON, D.C. — In response to news reports about ongoing violence in Gaza, Rep. Dennis Kucinich released the following statement.

“The chaos and factional violence in Gaza that ultimately led to the Hamas military takeover of the Presidential Compound and the National Security Guard building demonstrates a failure of President Bush’s strategy in matters relating to Hamas.

“The humanitarian, economic and political boycott imposed on the elected Hamas government were meant to force Hamas to accept U.S. and Israeli conditions or alternatively to force it out of power.

“The boycott has accomplished neither goal and instead has created a severe humanitarian crisis that is now marred by political factionalism, violence, and unrest.

Since the suspension of aid to the Palestinian Authority began in April 2006, one out of every fifteen families in the Occupied Territories has run a debt exceeding $25,000 typically for water, electricity, and food. The number of people living on less than 50 cents a day has risen to more than a million. The Palestinian Authority budget has shrunk from $1.5 billion annually to $500 million. This has created a dire situation when the Palestinian Authority is responsible for 1,600 schools and 400 hospitals and medical centers.

The UN Middle East envoy, Alvaro de Soto, claims that the conditions set by the Quartet, the EU, the US, the UN, and Russia, are "unattainable." Additionally, a leaked memo written in May and printed in the Guardian this week, de Soto confirmed that the US pressured Mahmoud Abbas to refuse Hamas' initial invitation to form a "national unity government."

If we are to return to the path of Middle East peace, Congress must pressure the Administration to:

1. Announce that the U.S. will immediately extend diplomatic recognition to the former national unity government coalition of Hamas and Fatah;
2. Ask for the reconstitution of the coalition government;
3. Initiate high level diplomatic talks in the region, including representatives chosen by the coalition government;
4. Send emergency food and medical aid to Gaza, under auspices of UN and NGOs.

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