Carter Says U.S. Criminal Policy Caused the Disaster in Gaza
June 20, 2007 (LPAC) -- Speaking at Ireland's eighth annual Forum on Human Rights yesterday, former President Jimmy Carter said the US, EU and Israel must end their policy of supporting Fatah over Hamas, or they will doom the Palestinian people to deepening conflict between the rival movements. He termed the Bush administration's refusal to accept the 2006 election victory of Hamas as "criminal."
The Jerusalem Post reports today that monitors from his Carter Center had observed the 2006 election in which Hamas won 42 percent of the popular vote and a majority of parliamentary seats. He said that election was "orderly and fair" and Hamas won. Instead of supporting the Hamas move towards parliamentary politics, the US, Israel and EU, he said, tried to subvert the outcome. "That action was criminal," he said in a news conference after his speech. "The United States and Israel decided to punish all the people in Palestine and did everything they could to deter a compromise between Hamas and Fatah."
He also said the US and others supplied the Fatah-controlled security forces in Gaza with vastly superior weaponry in hopes they would "conquer Hamas in Gaza" - but Hamas prevailed because of its "superior skills and discipline." He said plans to send aid to the West Bank, while clamping down on aid to Gaza, would imprison 1.4 million Gazans. He called for both territories to be treated equally. "This effort to divide Palestinians into two peoples now is a step in the wrong direction," he said. "All efforts of the international community should be to reconcile the two, but there's no effort from the outside to bring the two together."