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6/27/03 - HAMAS MUST BE DISMANTLED - 2003-06-30

Peace between Israelis and Palestinians will be possible, said President George W. Bush, only when Hamas and other terrorist groups are dismantled:

“Nearly every hopeful moment in the region, nearly every sign of progress toward peace is followed by more murders in the guise of martyrdom, as those who oppose peace do all they can to destroy the hopes and aspirations of those who desire to live in peace.”

Since Hamas was set up in 1987, its goal 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. Other terrorist groups committed to the destruction of Israel include Palestine Islamic Jihad and the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade.

At a White House meeting with European Union leaders, President Bush urged all countries to join the U.S. in cutting off funding and support to Hamas and other terrorist groups:

“I like to remind people that there are three parties involved directly in the territories there. There’s the Israeli government. I believe the Israeli people want peace, and I believe their government when they say they want a peaceful [Palestinian] state, living side by side [with] Israel. Secondly, there are the people of the Palestinian world who are tired of failed leadership, tired of terrorism destroying their hopes, tired of living in poverty, and they, too, want a peaceful [Palestinian] state. And then there are the terrorists, like Hamas, who do not want a peaceful [Palestinian] state, and they’re willing to use terrorist means to destroy it. In order for there to be peace, Hamas must be dismantled.”

The U.S. will continue to work with Israel and the Palestinian Authority to end the threat from Hamas and other terrorist groups.