The United States will not be helping any winner of the Palestinian legislative elections that will be held in January, U.S. President George W. Bush said on Monday.
‘You asked me if, if people get elected, they’re going to use violence as a tool — there won’t be our help. We just won’t be involved,’ Bush said, according to a transcript released by the White House.
‘If people get elected who say, we want to advance peace and prosperity of the Palestinian people, we’ll be involved,’ Bush said.
Apparently, Bush was hinting to the scenario in which Hamas might win the elections and decides to use violence as a tool to resist the occupation.
Hamas has decided to contest the parliamentary elections after it had boycotted the first elections held in 1996.
Hamas had a strong showing the three stages of the local governments’ elections and is expected to have similar performance in the coming stages that would be concluded by the end of this year.
Unlike the European Union, the U.S. lists Hamas as a terrorist organization and refuses to hold any dialogue with it. The EU still has Hamas on its terror list, however with distinction between its armed and political wings and has expressed readiness to dialogue with Hamas politicians, like those who are elected for local governments.
Failing to win American support, Israel has dropped its demand to prevent Hamas from taking part in the elections, and said it will not interfere in the elections.
Israel has threatened to obstruct the elections if Hamas takes part, by keeping the checkpoints and roadblocks in the West Bank in-place which obstructs the movement of Palestinians and therefore obstruct the balloting.