U.S Secretary of States, Condoleezza Rice, reiterated yesterday that Washington would keep up sidelining the Islamist Hamas party in Gaza, wondering of what she considered ‘negotiating with a group that wants a tactical agreement in order to wage a war in a later stage’.
Rice asserted that sidelining Hamas would continue until the party opts for peace as a ‘strategic choice’.

In her meeting with representatives of the Jewish community in Washington yesterday night , the U.S secretary described Hamas as fighters, who are commissioned by the Iranian regime, in order to destabilize regional security and destroy the state of Israel.

Nevertheless, Rice believed that there is a chance to reach some kind of compromise between the Palestinians and Israel by the end of 2008, urging Israel to produce what she called ‘some concessions’ for the sake of peace.

According to Rice, Israel should take hard decisions and that the United States would ensure protection of Israel’s security.

As for the Israeli-Syrian peace track, Rice excluded a major breakthrough soon, noting that Syria is an ally to Iran, on which Washington has been enforcing more sanctions due to Tehran’s nuclear drive.

The United States, Israel and western governments, have been disregarding Hamas following the party’s electoral victory in 2006’s parliamentary votes, until Hamas drops its resistance agenda.

Hamas has recently offered a long-term truce with Israel and voiced acceptance of a Palestinian state on the 1967 border lines, yet Israel branded the Hamas’s offer ‘a makeover by the group to rearm and reorganize after recent fighting with the Israeli army’.