Bush ignored Hamas offer


The Bush administration ignored a direct appeal from Hamas to broker a long-term truce with Israel.

The handwritten appeal was delivered in 2006, a few months after the terrorist group won the Palestinian Authority elections, Ha’aretz reported on Friday.

The then-P.A. prime minister signed letter after dictating it to Jerome Segal, an American Jewish professor at the University of Maryland who conducted similar missions between the Palestine Liberation Organization and U.S. governments in the 1980s.

"We are so concerned about stability and security in the area that we don’t mind having a Palestinian state in the 1967 borders and offering a truce for many years," Haniyeh said in the letter.

The Bush administration and other Western powers had joined Israel in banning contacts with Hamas until it foreswore terrorism and recognized Israel.

Segal delivered the letter to U.S. officials, accompanied by one of his own in which he said such an agreement would amount to de facto recognition of Israel and that it was his understanding that Hamas would consider exchanging ambassadors with Israel.

According to Ha’aretz, the appeal was not the only one from Hamas delivered through back channels; the Bush administration ignored all of them.

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