TEL AVIV – Hamas is putting all its eggs in the basket of President-elect Barack Obama, according to former president Jimmy Carter, who met with the chiefs of the
terror group in Syria last week.
“Like the Syrians, they (Hamas) are patient, relatively satisfied with the
status quo, and putting all their eggs in Obama’s basket. We had to caution
them about expecting too much of an immediate change in U.S. Middle East
policy,” Carter wrote in a first-person report posted on his Carter Center website.
Carter recounted how on the anniversary of Hamas’ founding, he met last week
in Damascus with Hamas chieftain Khaled Meshaal “and his fellow Hamas
politburo members, all of whom are scientists, medical doctors, or engineers – none
trained in religion.”
A senior Israeli security official who was made aware of Carter’s
description of Meshaal and other top Hamas members as “scientists, medical doctors, or engineers,” said such descriptions were “simply outrageous apologies for
The official pointed out there is strong evidence Meshaal, who heads an
active terrorist organization, repeatedly directly has ordered numerous Hamas
terror attacks over the years, and, until Hamas took over the Gaza Strip in
2007, Meshaal controlled the flow of money for all Hamas activities, including
terrorism and the group’s vast civilian infrastructure in Gaza and the West
Carter continued by stating that he discussed with Meshaal “items on my agenda
that included an extension of the cease-fire in Gaza.”
About an hour after he met with Carter last Sunday, Meshaal announced at a
press conference that Hamas would not renew the cease-fre.
“There will be no renewal of the ‘calm’ after it expires,” Meshaal told
reporters. But then a Hamas spokesman in Gaza announced no official decision to
end the truce had been reached.
Hamas, responsible for scores of suicide bombings, shootings and rocket
attacks, officially is listed as a terrorist organization by the U.S. State
Department. Hamas’ charter calls for the murder of Jews and destruction of Israel.
Last month, a top Hamas official in Gaza sparked controversy after he
claimed Hamas held a meeting in the
Gaza Strip several months ago with aides to Obama. He claimed the terror group
was asked to keep the contacts secret until after last month’s elections. The
charge was strongly denied by Obama’s transition team.
Ahmed Yousef, Hamas’ chief political adviser in Gaza, claimed to the leading
Al-Hayat Arabic-language newspaper Hamas maintained regular communication
with Obama aides that even continued during the past week.
“We were in contact with a number of Obama’s aides through the Internet, and
later met with some of them in Gaza, but they advised us not to come out with
any statements, as they may have a negative effect on his election campaign
and be used by Republican candidate John McCain (to attack Obama),” Yousuf
Yousef gave WND a series of recent interviews in which he praised Obama as
the leading candidate. Days after last month’s U.S. presidential elections, he
called Obama’s win a “historic victory” for the world and told WND that Hamas was sending a letter of
congratulation to the president-elect.
Yousef seemed aware his comments 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, comparing 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.