If Hamas Participates, Sharon Says Israel Won't Aid Palestinian Elections

(Washington Post) Glenn Kessler - * Israeli Prime Minister Sharon said Friday that his government will refuse to assist the PA in holding legislative elections in January if the militant group Hamas is allowed to participate. "We will never agree that this terrorist organization, this armed terrorist organization, will participate in the elections," Sharon said. "We will make every effort not to help them in their elections," he said. * Sharon said Israel would tolerate Hamas's participation only if it gives up its arms and renounces its goal of destroying Israel. "An armed organization doesn't become democratic once they participate in the election," Sharon said, calling the Hamas charter "one of most terrible documents that exists." * "Hamas is a terrorist organization that should disarm and renounce violence," said U.S. National Security Council spokesman Frederick L. Jones II, adding that U.S. officials will never talk to elected officials who belong to terrorist groups. "A decision as to who can participate in a [Palestinian Legislative Council] election obviously is up to the Palestinian Authority. We do not believe that a democratic state can be built when parties or candidates seek power not through the ballot box but through terrorist activity, as well."

2005-09-19 00:00:00

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