JERUSALEM – The Hamas terrorist group believes the election of Sen. Barack
Obama is an “historic victory” for the world and an opportunity to change U.S.
foreign policy toward engagement with America’s foes, Ahmed Yousef, Hamas’
chief political adviser in the Gaza Strip, told WND in an exclusive interview
today.

Yousef, speaking by cell phone from Gaza, said Hamas is drafting a letter of
congratulation to be sent tomorrow directly to Obama. He said the
current draft of the letter praises the president-elect as “another John F.
Kennedy, or great Roosevelt.”

“We want to be one of the first to congratulate him,” Yousef said.

“This is an historic day, a turning point. I think this is the very first
time in history that one country’s election concerned everyone everywhere all
over [the] world,” said Yousef. “Everybody is looking forward to Obama’s change, for
a change in the U.S. policy, particularly in the Israeli-Palestinian
equation, which is the mother of all conflicts.”

Yousef told WND he believes an Obama administration will be more willing to
engage in dialogue with Hamas.

He said Obama’s job will be to “restore America’s dignity in the world and
put an end to the wars in the region.”

Yousef took the occasion to blast the policies of President Bush, commenting
he hopes “that after January the Bush administration will not be heard from
again.”

“We are sick of wars and conflict,” the Hamas official said.

Yousef seemed aware his comments and Hamas’ expected letter to Obama may
generate some negative publicity for Obama, but he said he feels it important to
“reach out and to express our thoughts and engage.”

“I praised him six months ago, some people tried to use that against him.
But I knew he would win. Like everyone else, we expected this important
victory,” he said.

Yousef was referring to an interview he gave to WND and WABC Radio in April in which he
praised Obama and then found his comments had fueled a firestorm of
accusations in the presidential campaign.

In April, Yousef stated he hoped Obama would become president and compared the
Illinois senator to President John F. Kennedy.

“We like Mr. Obama, and we hope that he will win the election,” Yousef told
WND at the time.

“I hope Mr. Obama and the Democrats will change the political discourse. …
I do believe [Obama] is like John Kennedy, a great man with a great
principle. And he has a vision to change America to make it in a position to lead the
world community, but not with humiliation and arrogance,” Yousef said.

Sen. John McCain repeatedly used Yousef’s remarks to criticize Obama’s
foreign policy.

Obama has condemned Hamas as a terrorist group that should be isolated until it
recognizes Israel. He claimed McCain was using the Hamas comments as a
“smear.”

Hamas is responsible for scores of suicide bombings, rocket attacks,
shootings and cross-border raids. Its official charter calls for the murder of Jews
and destruction of Israel. Just today, Hamas members took responsibility for
launching dozens of rockets from Gaza aimed at Jewish civilian population
centers.


To interview Aaron Klein, contact M. Sliwa Public Relations by e-mail, or call 973-272-2861 or 212-202-4453.


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