Saturday 24 January 2009

Hamas: Obama Represents No Change to Bush

The Palestinian resistance movement Hamas said on Thursday that US President Barack Obama does not represent a change from former President George W. Bush and is repeating his same failed policies in the Middle East.

"Obama insists that no change will happen. He is trying to move along the same path that previous US presidents have followed," Hamas' representative in Lebanon, Osama Hamdan, told Al Jazeera television.

"It seems that Obama is trying to repeat the same mistakes that George Bush made without taking into consideration Bush's experience that resulted in the explosion of the region instead of reaching stability and peace in it."

Earlier on Thursday, Obama said an outline for a "durable ceasefire" included Hamas stopping its rocket fire and Israel completing its troop withdrawal from Gaza.
Obama has so far declined to take any position as to the Israeli offensive on Gaza that killed over 1,300 people and injured more than 5,000 others many with banned white phosphorus burns.

"I think this is an unfortunate start for President Obama in the region and the Middle East issue. And it looks like the next four years, if it continues with the same tone, will be a total failure," Hamdan said.

He added that Obama's declaration that Hamas must stop firing rockets into Israel only served to hinder his envoy George Mitchell's mission. "Some were optimistic when Mitchell was nominated as a Middle East envoy but it looks like even before Obama appointed him officially, he tried to put a spoke in the wheel, maybe so that he (Mitchell) doesn't succeed," Hamdan said.

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