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George W. Bush Administration: Remarks on Hamas Victory in Palestinian Elections

(January 30, 2006)

President George W. Bush responded to questions about the United States position on Hamas as the new ruling party of the Palestinian Authority.

Question: Mr. President, Israeli officials are seeking an international boycott of a Palestinian government that includes Hamas. Do you support this? And, if so, isn't that punishing the Palestinian people for exercising the democratic rights that you've called for in the region?

"The Hamas party has made it clear that they do not support the right of Israel to exist. And I have made it clear so long as that's their policy, that we will not support a Palestinian government made up of Hamas. We want to work with a government that is a partner in peace, not a government that is -- whose declared intentions might be the destruction of Israel.

Secondly, this new democracy that's emerging in the Palestinian Territories must understand that you can't have a political party that also has got an armed wing to it; that democracies yield peace. And so the second half of our message to Hamas is get rid of your arms, disavow terrorism, work to bring what you promised to the people of the Palestinian Territories. Listen, these folks ran on the campaign 'we're going to get rid of corruption' and that 'we're going to provide services to the people,' and that's positive. But what isn't positive is that they've got parts of their platform that will make it impossible for them to be a peaceful partner."

Sources: The White House