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6/17/03 - HAMAS TERRORISM CONTINUES - 2003-06-17

The Palestinian terrorist group Hamas has called for more attacks, in its words, “to blow up the Zionist entity and tear it to pieces.” The June 12th statement came a day after a Hamas suicide terrorist set off a bomb on a bus in Jerusalem. At least seventeen people were killed and more than one-hundred wounded.

Terrorist groups like Hamas, said President George W. Bush, have no interest in the creation of a Palestinian state that could live in peace with Israel:

“It is clear there are people in the Middle East who hate peace; people who want to kill in order to make sure that the desires of Israel to live in security and peace don’t happen; who kill to make sure the desires of the prime minister of the Palestinian Authority and others [for] a peaceful state, living side-by-side with Israel, do not happen.”

Since its creation in 1987, the goal of Hamas has been the destruction of the Jewish state of Israel and the establishment of an extremist Muslim state in its place. In pursuit of that goal, Hamas has murdered hundreds of Israelis as well as Palestinians, Americans, and others.

The issue, said White House spokesman Ari Fleischer, is not Israel or the Palestinian Authority. “The issue is Hamas. The terrorists are Hamas. Hamas is no friend to the Palestinian Authority. Hamas is a threat to everything that Prime Minister [Mahmoud] Abbas and those people in the Palestinian Authority who seek to create a state stand for. What’s important,” said Mr. Fleischer, “is for everybody in the region to work together to defeat Hamas and violent terrorist organizations.”

As President Bush said, it is time for those who want to see peace in the Middle East “to fight off terror, to cut off money to organizations such as Hamas [and] to isolate those who hate so much that they’re willing to stop peace from going forward.”