The United States House of Representatives said that Palestinian Authority (P.A) risks losing the U.S support if it allows Hamas to participate in the January 2006 Legislative elections.
The House also urged the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, to dismantle all armed resistance factions.
The resolution passed Friday on 397-17 vote; it also urged Abbas to declare that he intends to dismantle all resistance factions before the vote.
Also, the House added that the participation of Hamas in the upcoming Palestinian government will undermine the ability of the U.S to have a “constructive relation” or provide future assistance to the P.A.
Tom Lantos, a representative of the top democrat on the House International Relations Committee, said that Hamas, which is listed by the U.S state department as a terrorist organization, might win more than a quarter of the 132 seats of the Palestinian Legislative Council.
On the ground, Hamas is achieving big victories in the local councils elections; it managed recently to defeat Fateh in Jenin, Nablus, and Al Biereh, while the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine won the elections in Ramallah.
The most noticeable victory of Hamas is in Nablus, a city which was considered for a long period as the stronghold of the ruling Fateh party.
Sean McCormack, US State Department spokesperson, said on Thursday that there is a fundamental contradiction in the participation of Hamas, “a movement which is involved in terrorism, and wants to participate in the political life”, according to McCormack.
He added that the U.S policy on Hamas did not change, it considers the movement as a terrorist organization, and will not deal with it.
Meanwhile, Lantos said that Hamas is not qualified to run the election since “the movement is considered a terrorist organization, and it denies Israel’s rights to exist”, according to Lantos.
He also charged that there is a third reason barring the movement from participating in the upcoming elections, saying that Hamas is a “fundamentalist and a jihadist organization”.
Also, Rep Ileanna Ros-Lehtinen, chairman of the House International Relations subcommittee on the Middle East and Central Asia, claimed that Hamas is trying to “hijack the elections”, and added that this resolution stands against the attempts of what she described as “the murderous Islamic extremist organizations”
The U.S President George W. Bush claimed that Hamas is a terrorist organization which is “preparing for a future of oppression and misery.”