Question #4 in the Jerusalem Post feature “on the road to the Whitehouse” concerns Hamas and Gaza, and was asked and answered by several US Presidential candidates, both Democrats and Republicans.
JPost:”What would be your policy on Gaza’s transformation into an Iranian-influenced “Hamastan”? Isolation? Engagement with Hamas? Encouraging Mahmoud Abbas to rebuild ties to Hamas, or to try and wrest back physical control?…”
Hillary Clinton: The Hamas takeover of Gaza is deeply disturbing, increasing the danger to Israeli citizens already under attack from rockets fired indiscriminately from the Gaza territory. In the last few weeks, these rockets have killed three people and wounded many more.
The United States must continue to support our ally, Israel, as it defends itself against these attacks and insist that Hamas cannot be recognized until it renounces terrorism and recognizes Israel’s right to exist.
Israel and the international community are committed to supporting the new government of Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas, strengthening the PA and its ability to meet its responsibilities, in direct contrast to Hamas.
The appointment of former British Prime Minster Tony Blair as the new Quartet Representative will support efforts to create viable and lasting Palestinian government institutions, strengthen the Palestinian economy, and ensure that the resulting benefits reach the Palestinian people.
I believe the United States should strongly support these efforts. There are not many good options at this difficult time, but the security of Israel and of the Middle East is best served by helping to create a Palestinian Authority that can provide tangible benefits and a better life for its people, in contrast to the violence and isolation offered by Hamas.