Hamas calls on Obama to visit Gaza

An American group returning from Gaza was said it eould deliver a letter from Hamas to US President Obama in Cairo.

Hamas calls on Obama to visit Gaza
World Bulletin / News Desk

A Hamas official wrote a letter to invite U.S. President Barack Obama, who is curriently in Cairo, American group returning from Gaza was quoted on Thursday as saying by Palestinian media.

The US women's antiwar group CODEPINK said that it would deliver a letter from Hamas official Ahmad Yousef to Obama who is to give an address to the Muslim world in the Cairo University, Maan news agency reported.

"It is very important to visit the Gaza Strip and to witness the results of the Israeli war and these crimes that lasted 22 days. So many people were killed by Israel, which has the encouragement of the United States," was written in the letter.

At 9am on Thursday the delegation of journalists, social workers, professors and activists will carry the letter to the US Embassy in Cairo along with a petition signed by more than 10,000 Americans asking Obama to go to Gaza to witness the impact of the recent Israeli invasion there and its ongoing blockade.

Hamas official said that "Human Rights Watch documented that the use of the white phosphorus by Israel against United Nations schools and it was discovered that it is made in the US … they concluded by stating that Israel's use of white phosphorous is a war crime ..."

"The question is for Americans: If you are the makers of such weapons and you are the owners of this weapon and you support Israel, how did Israel violate international law and used this weapon!?"

"We are, in the Hamas government, ready to continue with all parties on the basis of mutual respect, without any prior requirements or conditions," Yousef said in the letter which translated and reported by Maan.

Yousef also that "we would welcome President Obama to the Gaza Strip, in order to see the damage done. Such a visit will put the United States in a higher position in the view of the entire world in order to solve the conflict."

Obama should "see the devastation for himself"

"Obama should go to Gaza and see the devastation for himself, or send envoy George Mitchell," said Medea Benjamin in a statement.

Benjamin is co-founder of CODEPINK, which led the group through Gaza. "There will be no significant improvement in relations between the United States and the Arab world until the U.S. begins to deal directly with Hamas and shows its commitment to the rights of both Palestinians and Israelis."

Israel launched on Dec. 27 a massive offensive in Gaza, killing more than 1300 Palestinians, a third of them children, and wounded at least 5300.

Israel targeted hospitals, schools, mosques and government buildings and destroyed infrastructure system in Gaza, lefting Palestinians without electricity, gas and power.

Egypt allowed the 66-person delegation through the Rafah crossing into Gaza on 30 May. The group brought toys, school supplies and playground building supplies, and built three small playgrounds there.

Hamas wants Israel and Egypt to reopen all Gaza's border crossings so that people and goods can move freely. Gaza has been under heavy blockade for most of the time since Hamas took power there in June 2007.

Gazans live under heavy Israel siege for a long time and Egypt still insists on not to opening the only Gaza border crossing in a move condemned by Muslims around the world in protests, leaving Gazans desperate to digging tunnels underground and risking their lives.

The group said in a statement that it was "shocked by the brutality of the Israeli invasion that killed more than 1,400, displaced more than 50,000 people and destroyed approximately 4,000 homes." They were also appalled by the effects of the 21-month siege that has "virtually sealed the borders and constitutes a form of collective punishment, which is illegal under international law."
Güncelleme Tarihi: 05 Haziran 2009, 10:56