Hamas, Netanyahu reject Obama speech

May 19, 2011 at 6:29 PM
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JERUSALEM, May 19 (UPI) -- Both Hamas and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Thursday rejected U.S. President Barack Obama's remarks on a Middle East peace.

"We will not recognize the Israeli occupation under any circumstances," said Hamas spokesman in the Gaza Strip, Sami Abu-Zuhri, adding: "We object to intervention in our internal affairs."

Ynetnews.com also quoted Abu-Zuhri as cautioning the Palestinian Authority against endorsing Obama's positions and said the Arab world doesn't need a lesson in democracy from the United States.

Netanyahu said Obama's call to return to Israel's 1967 borders is impossible since those borders are indefensible.

"Israel believes that in order for peace to prevail, the establishment of a Palestinian state cannot come at the expense of the state of Israel's existence," Netanyahu said in a statement issued by his office. "The Palestinians, and not only the United States, must recognize Israel as the Jewish people's nation-state."

Obama's speech came ahead of Netanyahu's planned visit to Washington. The Jerusalem Post said Netanyahu plans to stress Israel's need to maintain a presence along the Jordan River and his disappointment about the Fatah-Hamas reconciliation.

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