Last updated on: 5/19/2008 10:30:00 AM PST

Will Hamas' Victory in the January 2006 Palestinian Elections Help the Peace Process?

General Reference (not clearly pro or con)
The Washington Post, in a Jan. 27, 2006 article titled "Hamas Sweeps Palestinian Elections, Complicating Peace Efforts in Mideast," wrote:

"The radical Islamic movement Hamas won a large majority in the new Palestinian parliament, according to official election results announced Thursday, trouncing the governing Fatah party in a contest that could dramatically reshape the Palestinians' relations with Israel and the rest of the world.

In Wednesday's voting, Hamas claimed 76 of the 132 parliamentary seats, giving the party at war with Israel the right to form the next cabinet under the Palestinian Authority's president, Mahmoud Abbas, the leader of Fatah."

Jan. 27, 2006 - Washington Post 

The Quartet on the Middle East, comprised of the US Secretary of State, the UN Secretary General, the Russian Foreign Minister, and a representative of the European Union, on Jan. 30, 2006 issued the following statement:

"It is the view of the Quartet that all members of a future Palestinian government must be committed to nonviolence, recognition of Israel, and acceptance of previous agreements and obligations, including the Roadmap. We urge both parties to respect their existing agreements, including on movement and access."

Jan. 30, 2006 - Office of the Quartet Representative 

For the Jan. 2006 legislative elections, Hamas presented the "List for Change and Reform" and its political agenda with the following platform:

PRO (yes)

Ismail Haniya, the Hamas nominee for Palestinian Prime Minister, said in a Jan. 28, 2006 BBC interview:

"Don't be afraid. Hamas is an aware and mature movement, one which is politically open to the Palestinian arena, to the Arab and Islamic worlds, and also to the international arena."

Jan. 28, 2006 - Ismail Haniya 

Ahmed Ali Aboul Gheit, Egyptian Foreign Minister, in a Feb. 21, 2006 meeting with Condoleezza Rice in Cairo, Egypt stated:

"We should give Hamas time. I'm sure that Hamas will develop, will evolve. We should not prejudge the issue. We object to whatever policies on the part of the Israeli Government right now that are cutting the right of the Palestinians to receive their dues. So it's only a matter of time on that. We are sure that the Palestinians will recognize the requirements of the situation as they stand today: the roadmap; the need for a political peaceful settlement amongst the Israelis and the Palestinians; they need to see the two states living side by side in secure and recognized boundaries for both. So these are issues that the Palestinians and the government of Hamas, when composed, will have to face such requirements."

Feb. 21, 2006 - Ahmed Ali Aboul Gheit 

M. A. Muqtedar Khan, PhD, MBA, Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science and International Relations at the University of Delaware, in a Feb. 9, 2006 Daily Times (Pakistan) article, wrote:

"It is common wisdom that a peace deal acceptable to Likud is acceptable to all in the US and Israel. Similarly a peace deal acceptable to Hamas will be acceptable to all in the Arab and Muslim world. Will an organization committed to Israel’s destruction negotiate? Hamas has always negotiated with EU, the US [indirectly] and with other Arab interlocutors. The current ceasefire in place since February is negotiated outcome. While the US, Israel and Hamas may wish to avoid negotiating openly, given their past rhetoric, it is always possible to negotiate through proxies. EU and Egypt can play the role of proxies. Now ironically Israel could have a real partner for peace since Hamas can deliver what PA could never promise, an end to the nightmare of suicide bombers."

Feb. 9, 2006 - M. A. Muqtedar Khan, PhD, MBA 

CON (no)

Ehud Olmert, Israeli Prime Minister, made the following remarks on Feb. 19, 2006 to the Israeli Cabinet:

"It is clear that in light of the Hamas majority in the PLC [Palestinian Legislative Council] and the instructions to form a new government that were given to the head of Hamas, the PA [Palestinian Authority] is - in practice - becoming a terrorist authority. The State of Israel will not agree to this. Israel will not compromise with terrorism and will continue to fight it with full force. However, there is no intention of harming the humanitarian needs of the Palestinian population. Israel will not hold contacts with the administration in which Hamas plays any part - small, large, or permanent."

Feb. 19, 2006 - Ehud Olmert, LLB 

Ismail Haniya, the Hamas nominee for Palestinian Prime Minister, on Jan. 22, 2006 was quoted in the Palestinian Authority's Al-Ayyam newspaper:

"Negotiations with Israel are not on the Hamas agenda, since past negotiations between Israel and the PA have been unsuccessful. Hamas will not repeat attempts that have [already] failed. [Moreover,] the stronger side always has an advantage in negotiations."

Jan. 22, 2006 - Ismail Haniya 

George W. Bush, MBA, US President, in a Jan. 26, 2006 press conference, stated:

"I don't see how you can be a partner in peace if you advocate the destruction of a country as part of your platform. And I know you can't be a partner in peace if you have a -- if your party has got an armed wing. The [Palestinian] elections just took place. We will watch very carefully about the formation of the government. But I will continue to remind people about what I just said, that if your platform is the destruction of Israel, it means you're not a partner in peace. And we're interested in peace."

Jan. 26, 2006 - George W. Bush, MBA 

Mahmud Al-Zahar, MD, leader of the Hamas majority faction in the Palestinian Legislature, said in an Oct. 22, 2005 interview with

"There is no peace with people who killed our people, occupied our lands and destroyed our homes. How can we reach a peace process with them? We can speak about hudna (truce), long-term ceasefire.

Peace depends on the restoration of our usurped rights. That means the restoration of all the lands occupied since 1948. How can we accept Israel as a legal existence while it occupies our land? We can reach a ceasefire with anybody, but peace with Israel is impossible."

Oct. 22, 2005 - Mahmoud al-Zahar, MD