Hamas appeared to reverse its position supporting the presidential candidacy of Barack Obama.
In a statement following Obama’s speech Wednesday to the pro-Israel group AIPAC, in which the Illinois senator called Israel’s security “sacrosanct” and promised to support an “undivided” Jerusalem, a Hamas spokesman accused the Democrat of supporting the Israeli occupation.
“We consider the statements of Obama to be further evidence of the hostility of the American administration to Arabs and Muslims,” said Sami Abu Zuhr, according to Reuters.
In April, another Hamas official said in a radio interview that the group, which the United States and Israel consider a terrorist organization, would like to see Obama elected president. Obama’s presumptive Republican opponent, U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), seized upon the comments and mentioned the endorsement in a fund-raising letter.
“Hamas does not differentiate between the two presidential candidates, Obama and McCain, because their policies regarding the Arab-Israel conflict are the same and are hostile to us, therefore we do have no preference and are not wishing for either of them to win,” Zuhri said.
Other Palestinians also lambasted Obama for saying Jerusalem should remain Israel’s undivided capital.
“Mr. Obama, if you speak about Jerusalem being the undivided capital of Israel – sir you are closing all doors for peace,” Saeb Erekat, senior adviser to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, told reporters Thursday.
“Those who are pro-peace do not speak about Jerusalem being the undivided capital of Israel. The U.S. policy since 1967 did not change. The U.S. Embassy is still in Tel Aviv and the U.S. considers east Jerusalem as occupied territory.”
Israel captured east Jerusalem in the Six-Day War and annexed it as its capital, a move not recognized abroad.