Thursday, January 26, 2006

Hamas Promises To 'Liberate' Rest Of Palestine - News - Hamas Promises To 'Liberate' Rest Of Palestine

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip -- With a landslide election victory under his belt, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh promises to complete what he calls "the liberation of other parts of Palestine."

The militant group's leader didn't clarify which territories he was talking about or what strategy he'll use.

In a victory news conference, Haniyeh said Hamas took more than 60 percent of the vote in Wednesday's parliament elections. The Hamas leader said he doesn't expect President Mahmoud Abbas to resign.

Abbas' Fatah Party took a hard loss in the election. Election officials said Hamas won 76 of the 132 seats in the Palestinian parliament.

The election outcome could have a devastating effect on the peace process. Hamas has dedicated itself to the destruction of Israel, and Israel and the United States both regard Hamas as a terrorist group. And a senior Hamas official said Thursday that recognizing Israel and negotiating with it are, "not on our agenda."

President George W. Bush said Wednesday that the United States will not deal with Hamas unless it renounces violence.

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