Bush Calls For Halt to Payments
Palestinian Authority After Hamas Victory
(February 21, 2006)
Q Mr. President, Israel is halting payments
to the Palestinians — the tax monies.
What do you think about that, and what
is the next step?
PRESIDENT: I'll just give you our government's
position, and that is, we have said that
— well, first of all, the U.S. government
doesn't give direct grants to Palestine,
we go through the Palestinian
we go through — we give grants through
NGOs from our USAID, to help people. But
my statement still stands, that so long
as Hamas does not recognize Israel's right
to exist, my view is we don't have a partner
in peace, and therefore shouldn't fund
a government that is not a partner in peace.
I thought the elections were important.
I was one voice that said the elections
should go forward on time.
I recognized that, one, elections are the
first step in many cases in evolution of
a true democracy; and secondly, that elections show — give everybody a true look at how — what people are thinking on the street;
and thirdly, though, that because the Palestinians
spoke, doesn't necessarily mean we have
to agree with the nature of — the party
elected. And the party elected has said,
we're for the destruction of Israel. And
our policy is, two states living side by
side in peace. And therefore, it's hard
to have a state living side by side in
peace when your stated objective is the
destruction of one of the states. So my
policy still stands, what I said day one
after the Hamas elections.
Source: The White House