GAZA, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) -- The Islamic Resistance
Movement (Hamas) Friday slammed new U.S. President Barack Obama for his
statements on the Middle East calling on the Palestinian movement to recognize
Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said in a written
statement sent to reporters that Obama's demands to accept the international
Quartet's requirements "is the beginning of the slide into the wrong U.S.
Obama said Wednesday that Hamas must recognize
Israel's right to exist, renounce violence and abide by past agreements.
The international Quartet, which embargoed Hamas
after it won the legislative elections in 2006, called on the movement to
recognize Israel and the interim peace agreements and to condemn violence.
"Hamas certifies that Barack Obama's demands to
accept the unfair terms of the Quartet and to recognize the Zionist enemy and
his statements that what Israel did was a self-defense are a beginning of a
slide into the wrong U.S. policies," said Barhoum.
Hamas has been ruling the Gaza Strip since June 2007.
It had taken the enclave by force, routing moderate Palestinian President
Mahmoud Abbas' security forces, and cracked down on his Fatah movement.
"Wrong American policy on the Middle East was the
main reason for the suffering of the Palestinians and also for the collective
punishment our people suffers from," said Barhoum.
He added that "the unfair policy of the United States
has led to the furious war carried out by the Zionist enemy against our people
in the Gaza Strip. We were not doing anything wrong except using the legal armed
resistance to defend our people."
Israel has carried out a large-scale air and ground
offensive on the Gaza Strip since Dec. 27, 2008. The offensive ended on last
Sunday when Israel took the initiative to unilaterally stop it.
Around 1,400 Palestinians were killed and 5,500
others wounded during the Israeli offensive on Gaza. Only ten Israeli soldiers
and three civilians were killed by Palestinian gunmen.
Special report: Palestine-Israel Conflicts