U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, said that there is no place in the Palestinian political process for Hamas, or any group or individuals who "refuse to renounce terror" and refuse o recognize Israel.

Also, Rice welcomed the statements of the acting Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, who said on Wednesday, that the government will convene on Sunday in a bid to approve the decision to allow Jerusalemite Palestinians to participate in the legislative elections, slated for January 25.   
 
Olmert said that the decision will be approved on condition that Hamas, and certain groups, will not be allowed to participate.
 
"The United States does not believe in having place in the political process for groups who refuse to renounce terror", Rice stated, "Groups who refuse to disarm, refuse to recognize Israel’s right to exist cannot be part of this process".
 
Israeli sources reported on Thursday that officials at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem welcomed the statement of Rice.
 
Rice also welcomed the determination of the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, to hold the elections on January 25 without any delays.
 
She added that Abbas is committed to taking the necessary steps for the Palestinian security forces to guarantee safe elections which do not include any violence, or violations.
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