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Hamas leader says Obama can visit Gaza
Published Thursday 07/03/2013 (updated) 11/03/2013 17:34
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BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Hamas would not oppose a visit by US President Barack Obama to the Gaza Strip, a party leader said Wednesday.

"Hamas refuses to negotiate with Israel, but wouldn’t oppose Obama visiting Gaza with the hope that the US attitude to reality will change," said Aziz Dweik, the speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council.

Obama is expected to visit Israel and the West Bank in March. According to Dweik, the purpose of Obama's trip is to strengthen Washington's friendship with Israel.

"We are used to America viewing our cause from one angle," the Hamas leader told Ma'an TV.

Hamas spokesman Salah al-Bardawil said Wednesday that the intransigence of Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would prevent Obama bringing any new initiatives on his visit.

Obama's trip is "a political maneuver to buy time and to calm the situation," al-Bardawil told Ma'an.

"We hope Obama is serious and will exert pressure on Israel to ease the Palestinian people's suffering, thus he will make amends for his previous term during which he was unjust to the Palestinian people," he added.

Al-Bardawil urged Obama not to visit Jerusalem. "This will be disastrous as such a visit will legitimize the Judaization of Jerusalem," he said. "We advise Obama to stay away from Jerusalem and to address it as the capital of Palestine."

The Hamas spokesman warned the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority against wasting time, which he said served Israel's plans to create facts on the ground. Obama's visit negatively affects reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah "which the PA has shelved," he added.

Dweik, the PLC speaker, said national reconciliation would only be achieved if Palestinians avoid interference from the US and Israel.

He said Hamas still rejected negotiations with Israel which brought "zero results."

Discussing the emergence of Islamist regimes in the Arab Spring, and their relations with Washington, Dweik said: "Everybody wants to explain about their cause and defend it.

"Hamas is seeking to explain about our cause just as Egypt and other Arab countries, but we will do that without recognizing Israel."

Asked about a decision by the Al-Aqsa University to force female students to cover their heads, Dweik said he opposed the move, adding that Christian students attend the campus and must be considered.

"It was an individual decision the university made on its own," he said.

He also reaffirmed previous statements that he did not approve of banning liquor stores or cinemas.
1 ) James / Canada
07/03/2013 22:13
Of course 0bama wont visit Gaza, like an ostrich, he will shun Gaza until the "facts on the ground" are established, then poke his head out and say "see". I wish americans would stick to the principles they propogate instead of being full of sh*t. Gaza needs Egypt more than the US to stand up and say "enough". The PA are a bunch of american puppets, begging for dollars, hoping that they wont get stepped on for their pandering, then "SQUISH"!. And americans are Israhells puppets.

2 ) Hope / USA
07/03/2013 23:10
Obama hopes that Hamas "is serious and will exert pressure on" Islamic militants "to ease the Palestinian people's suffering", by NOT fighting or "resisting" among civilian populations, and "thus make amends for their previous" terrorist actions, which were "unjust to the Palestinian people."

3 ) hamas / usa
07/03/2013 23:57

4 ) Outlier / USA
08/03/2013 01:23
And legitimize Hamas? Never say never, but it will take a fundamentally different Hazas for that to happen.

5 ) Robert / U.S.
08/03/2013 02:03
I want my president to go to Gaza & the West Bank to see for himself the real facts on the ground and be welcomed by loving people with great hospitality who just want to be FREE.

6 ) Joe Fattal / USA
08/03/2013 18:08
You all know its war after his visit. Israel will take lt as a go head to start their war with Hezbollah in Lebanon. Netanyahu's government is shaky as it is, so he wll need a war with a win to revive his dying government.

7 ) greg / usa
08/03/2013 20:18
I wish he would go to gaza to see the hell hole that is gaza. time for America to see what Israel has created. a giant concentration camp. no hope for the people that live there and Israel loves it.

8 ) Lynx / Palestine
08/03/2013 21:19
Dweik you corrupt bastard...Always more effort towards giving Hamas legitimacy, but never an effort towards Palestinian social and political unity! Dweik and all other Hamas supporters should wake up to the fact that Palestinian seculars and intellects will not drop dead and surrender to political Islam. Not in a million years.

9 ) Tony / canada
08/03/2013 21:33
Dweik, your intransigence has never helped the Palestinians. Israel will be 65 years old in May, with attitudes like yours Palestinians will still be in refugee camps 65 years from now.

10 ) michael / usa
09/03/2013 05:25
Gaza is a hell hole because the hounds of hell are running it. Israel is here to stay, get used to it. If I were the leadership of Hamas? Start planning to take your stolen billions and escape while you can.

11 ) Mel / USA
11/03/2013 18:33
#5:Robert:Bravo!As a tax-payingUScitizen,& VET,I reckon our top PUBLIC SERVANT's obliged to go to Gaza,w/out ANY Israeli interference &despite Jewish-voter threats! If POTUS Obama"Believes"in "Change"morality&US image,he'd VISIT GAZA's wonderful Palestinian people.Experience,himself,Zionist OPPRESSION& US-weaponized apartheid Israel.GO HEAR THE DRONES overGaza's head if U like them so much?Break bread with Palestinians,if U can FIND bread?Comfort the kids trapped as SOCIAL LEPERS,by Nazi-Zionism

12 ) Colin Wright / USA
15/03/2013 22:46
It's perhaps advisable to issue the invitation -- but there's no chance the offer will be taken up. The purpose of the trip is to short-circuit the argument that 'Obama hates Israel.' Obama's going to show he just wuvs Israel so much. Obviously, going to Gaza would hardly serve that end.
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