Carter is disappointed with Hamas response to his peace bid
After shuttling between Riyadh, Jerusalem, Damascus and Amman – and two long conversation with Hamas leaders in the Syrian capital – former US president Jimmy Carter reported Monday, April 21 that the Palestinian terrorist group had turned down his proposal for a 30-day unilateral ceasefire.
debkafile reports: His visit was dogged, in fact, by an escalation of Hamas cross-border attacks on Israel from the Gaza Strip, causing fatalities on both sides, followed by Israel air strikes.
The former US president was criticized by the US and Israel for meeting the hardline Hamas political chief Khaled Meshaal. Israel, the US and the European Union condemn Hamas as a terrorist organization, dedicated to Israel’s destruction and the creation of an Islamic state on Israeli territory, the West Bank and Gaza.
Carter blamed the lack of progress in his self-appointed mission on their boycott of Hamas.
He quoted Hamas as being prepared to accept Israel’s right to “live as a neighbour next door in peace”. Hamas, according to Carter, believes any peace agreement negotiated by Mahmoud Abbas would have to be submitted to the Palestinian people in a referendum.
However, Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesman, later said Carter’s comments “do not mean that Hamas is going to accept the result of the referendum”.
As for the US politician’s effort to obtain the release of the kidnapped Israeli soldier held incommunicado by Hamas for nearly two years, he reported that Egyptian officials said Israel had agreed to release 1,000 Palestinian terrorists in Israeli jails, but only accepted 71 on the list submitted by Hamas.
Carter said Hamas had agreed to let Cpl Shalit write a letter to his parents. debkafile sums up: That was the only tangible achievement of the Carter Middle East peace mission.