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1.27.2006
  Peace with Israel No Longer A Option
In response to the victory, Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert declared during a security cabinet meeting Thursday night that any Palestinian Authority government that included Hamas would not be a partner for Israel.

The Prime Minister's Office issued a statement after the cabinet meeting that read, "Israel will not negotiate with a Palestinian government, even if only part of it is an armed terrorist organization calling for Israel's destruction, and in any case will continue to strenuously fight terrorism everywhere."

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas responded to the election results with a veiled warning to Hamas. "The Palestinian Authority is a signatory to several international agreements, and any government established in the future will be required to implement them," he said. "This is the only way to end the occupation and to gain the support of the international community."...

As news of the results started to trickle in, Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar was quick to reiterate his movement's conditioned commitment to the unofficial truce with Israel.

"If Israel is going to continue commitment to what is called quietness, then we will continue," he said. "But if not, then I think we will have no option but to protect our people and our land."

Asked if a Hamas-run cabinet would negotiate with Israel, Zahar said even prior to his movement's victory there had been no movement toward peace and, therefore, there was no point in holding a dialogue at this time.

"We have no peace process," he said. "We are not going to mislead our people to tell them we are waiting, meeting, for a peace process that is nothing."
 
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