US: 'no plot' for Hamas ouster
Updated: 2006-02-15 09:17
The United States and Israel were not plotting to destabilize a Hamas-led
Palestinian government, the White House said on Tuesday, but urged the militant
group to respect Israeli-Palestinian accords.
The New York Times reported that US and Israeli officials were discussing
ways to isolate Hamas, which won an overwhelming victory in the Palestinian
election, if it failed to recognize Israel's right to exist and renounce
"There's no plot,"
White House spokesman Scott McClellan said. "The issue that this goes to is the
choice that Hamas has before it. If it wants to realize better relations with
the international community, then Hamas must renounce violence, recognize Israel
Hamas leader Khaled
Meshaal talks to the media upon arrival in the Sudanese capital Khartoum,
February 12, 2006. [Reuters]
At the State Department, spokesman Sean McCormack denied Washington was
developing a strategy that differed from its public policy.
"The conversations that we are having with the Israeli government are the
same conversations we are having with other members of the international
community," he said.
McClellan told reporters that Palestinian officials had for years recognized
Israel's right to exist and worked in negotiations toward peace.
"If Palestinians were to change that decade-old policy, then their relations
with the international community will change as well," he said.
Hamas defeated Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah movement in the
January 25 election on a pledge to end corruption and continue armed struggle
for statehood. It is pledged officially to the destruction of Israel which it
says is built on occupied Arab land.
"The United States, which claims herself to be the mother of democracy, must
respect the election results and the will of the Palestinian people," Hamas
spokesman Mushir al-Masri said.