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ICC Note:
We agree with all of this. What’s missing is an insistence that Hamas (funded by the radicals in Iran) allow religious liberty to Christians. We won’t hold our breath.

World leaders call on Hamas to renounce violence
Palestinian Govt. Quits As Hamas Sweeps Polls
The Telegraph

The international community has reacted with alarm to news that Hamas, a militant organization pledged to destroy Israel , has swept to power in Palestine ‘s parliamentary elections.

Western leaders united with Israel in calling for the group to give up its terrorist campaign.

Israel ‘s acting prime minister Ehud Olmert said: “We will not negotiate with a government that does not keep to its most basic commitment – fighting terror.”

American President George W Bush was similarly unequivocal. He told press: “You’re getting a sense of how I’m going to deal with Hamas if they end up in positions of responsibility. And the answer is: ‘Not until you renounce your desire to destroy Israel will we deal with you’.”

Dominique de Villepin, prime minister of France , said the “indispensable conditions” for France to work with Palestine included “the renunciation of violence and… the recognition of Israel and the recognition of international accords.”

But Hamas’s response to the news was mixed. Party officials denied any climbdown over Israel . But Sami Abu Zuhri, a spokesman for the organisation, said: “On one hand, we will maintain the agenda of resistance. On the other hand we seek to make change and reform in the Palestinian arena.”

“Change and reform” appeared to involve co-operation with Fatah, Palestine ‘s former ruling party which is committed to reconciliation with Israel . Hamas officials suggested the group would be ready to enter into partnership with the party, though Fatah has refused to commit until the final results come in.