The Hamas movement on Tuesday considered the statement of Condoleezza Rice the U.S Secretary of State, as part of the ongoing war on the movement and the Palestinian resistance.Sami Abu Zuhri, the Hamas movement spokesperson, said that Rice’s statement which accused Hamas of escalating the violence is part of Rice’s aims to give the green light for the ongoing war on the Hamas movement and the Palestinian resistance.

Abu Zuhri added that the comments were made by Rice to sway world opinion and to cover up Bush’s crimes, because accrding to Abu Zuhri, Bush gave his blessing for the attacks on Gaza during his visit to the region on January. The Hamas official asked Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas not to listen to Rice about resuming talks with Israel. Halting talks with Israel is a natural and much needed response to the Israeli attacks on Gaza Abu Zuhri added.

The Palestinian-Israeli peace talks have been advancing very slowly, without concrete results, since they were first revived by the US-sponsored peace summit of Annapolis in November 2007.

Fouzi Barhum, a Hamas official in Gaza said that Rice is not welcomed, he said that her visit will only bring bad outcomes for the Palestinian nation. Barhum added that Rice’s visit comes to support the Israeli occupation and to cover up the Israeli crimes in Gaza.

Rice started her visit to the region today by meeting Egypt’s Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit, and followed with talks with the Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Rice told reporters in Cairo ‘There has to be an active peace process that can withstand the efforts of those who reject it, the people who are firing rockets do not want peace,’ she added ‘They sow instability, that is what Hamas is doing.’

The Israeli attacks on Gaza, which escalated on Wednesday and continued through Monday morning, left 120 Palestinians dead and over 300 injured. Of those killed during the five day long offensive, at least 95 were civilians.

Rice is expected to hold separate talks with the Israeli Prime minister Ehud Olmert and the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas later on Tuesday.

Translated by: Ghassan Bannoura – IMEMC News