Syria: Hamas victory was a result of Israel's rejection of peace

By The Associated Press

Haaretz

Tevet 28, 5766

The Syrian government on Saturday said Israeli "prevarication and rejection of peace" were behind the Hamas landslide victory in Palestinian elections.

Hamas captured 75 of the 132 parliament seats, proving a "new era has started not only on the Palestinian arena but in the whole region and the world," the government daily Tishrin said in a front page editorial, marking Damascus' first official reaction to the Wednesday vote.

Syria, a staunch enemy of Israel, is the home to radical Palestinian factions that oppose making peace with Israel, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

The Palestinian people have chosen the "path of resistance. They weren't only searching for change for the sake of change, but for a just cause, which couldn't not be solved through political and diplomatic means because of Israel's prevarication and rejection of peace," the newspaper said.

It said the election caused a "worldwide earthquake," noting what it saw as the paradox of the West, the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush in particular, being "unable to accept the results of democracy or to respect the peoples' choice."

The paper said the United States should accept the new reality and that Israel should alter its approach regarding Hamas.

To read more reactions from the Arab world following Hamas' victory Click here.

Palestinian National Economy Minister Mazen Sinnukrot said Friday that "The international community should maintain (its) support of the Palestinian people if we are really seeking a prosperous region, a stable region, and would like to see a viable (Palestinian) state."

"The international community, especially from Europe, the States, Japan, the Arabs have been ... supporting our budget, supporting our infrastructure projects, our institutions," he said.