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1 killed, 2 injured in Israeli shelling at Deir al-Balah
Abbas congratulates Obama, Hamas urges end to Israel bias
Published Wednesday 07/11/2012 (updated) 14/11/2012 18:53
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Barack Obama celebrates his re-election with his family during his
election night rally in Chicago, Nov. 7, 2012. (Reuters/Jim Bourg)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday congratulated US President Barrack Obama after he defeated his Republican challenger.

Abbas expressed hope that Obama would continue his efforts to achieve peace in the Middle East, the Palestinian Authority news agency Wafa reported.

PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat expressed hope that Obama would stand by the Palestinian decision to gain non-member state status in the United Nations, Wafa reported.

He called on Obama to act against Israeli settlement activities and other violations against the Palestinian people.

Erekat also expressed hope that Obama would focus on democracy, peace and stability in the region in his second term and implement a two-state solution with Israel.

In Gaza City, the Hamas government called on Obama to re-evaluate his foreign policy concerning Palestine, and end his bias towards Israel.

"We listened to the moderate speech by Obama in the wake of his first presidential victory, but his policy did not fit into this discourse and in front of him now is an opportunity to apply what he had promised the people of the region away from the pressures of the Israeli lobby," Taher al-Nunu said.

He called on Obama to build ethical policies to deal with the region's issues, and restore the rights of the Palestinian people.

Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri told Ma'an that any change in opinion by the Arab and Islamic world concerning the United States would depend on whether Obama rebalanced US foreign policy towards the region's issues.

Obama's re-election is a chance for him to abandon his biased policies towards Israel, Abu Zuhri added.

Israel alliance 'stronger than ever'

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also congratulated Obama and said the strategic alliance between their two countries was "stronger than ever".

"I will continue to work with President Obama to ensure the interests that are vital for the security of Israel's citizens," Netanyahu, who has had a testy relationship with the US leader, said in a short written statement.

One major rift between the two leaders has been their approach in dealing with Iran's nuclear aspirations, with the United States urging Netanyahu not to launch any go-it-alone military action.

Netanyahu faces his own electoral test in January, when Israel holds a national ballot that opinion polls predict his right-wing Likud party will win.

Netanyahu's defense minister, Ehud Barak, who was a frequent visitor to Washington over the past four years, said in his own statement he had no doubt Obama will continue his policies, which "fundamentally support Israel's security".

"It is possible to overcome any differences in positions that may arise," Barak said.
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1 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
07/11/2012 17:00
End the bias? The only way to do that is to embrace American values: freedom of the press, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of expression. Abbas and Hamas have to stop arresting journalists. Stop arresting opposition leaders because they don't agree with you. Stop opressing Christians and women and minorities. Stop paying reward money to terrorists (yes, suicide bombers are indeed terrorists). And especially: arrest the attackers who murdered the American diplomats in Gaza.

2 ) shirley / australia
07/11/2012 22:14
US is adictatorship apolice state arouge state just like its hideous off shootr the US practices terrorism like hiring the MKo to carry out attacks in Iran and fake AL QEIDA groups in LEBANON that caused AL bahred to be destroyed tHE US bought down aCUBAN airliner Isreal carries out attacks assisinationswhat ajoke and calling HAMAS terrorists is like calling thew french REsistence or thewarsaw GHETTO uprisires TERRORISTS doble standars and HYPOCRITES are waht the US and Isreal are with EU

3 ) Noor / Palestine
07/11/2012 22:26
Of course end the bias. the American everlasting bias towards Israel, the spoiled little son of the US. The American government has always been turning its back to the Palestinian suffereing and giving full support to the real terrorists who steal peoples' land, lives and dreams of having peace.
Israel is definitely in the dark as well as America, but there will be time for everything to be disolved and the rights will be restored.

4 ) ABE / USA
07/11/2012 22:37
well said #1, I concur!

5 ) Don / Canada
07/11/2012 23:13
End the bias.....that's really funny. You Palestinians have the bias of a billion Muslims in 40 something countries, you control the UN which is certainly not biased towards Israel and you want the US now to also be biased towards you. Funny guys.

6 ) Gabi / Australia
07/11/2012 23:29
Sorry, Bibi, (and Brian Cohen) you lost!

7 ) ian / australia
08/11/2012 00:06
#1 "...arrest the attackers who murdered the American diplomats in Gaza." Long memory Brian, if you're referring to the roadside bomb which killed three US security guards (not diplomats) at Jabaliya refugee camp in 2003. But that's an EXAMPLE of "American values". Three people were charged and tried but were released because there was no evidence. Maybe they did it (and got away with it) or maybe they didn't. We'll never know. That's how the law works. They were presumed innocent and

8 ) ian / australia
08/11/2012 00:07
(contd.) their guilt couldn't be proved. (Like Israeli soldiers when it can't be determined, beyond reasonable doubt, whose bullet from whose gun, killed civillans (surrendering) in Gaza.) And I won't quibble that Gaza was occupied at the time. Of course Hamas and the PA have to reform. I agree with everything on your list...but so does Israel: Israel has to stop administrative detention (indefinite and without charge), disproportionate aggression (justified incredibly as self-defense),

9 ) ian / australia
08/11/2012 00:08
(contd.) settler violence, the inhumane blockade of Gaza and violations of Geneva in the occupied territories, inc. settlement expansion in East Jerusalem...and ideally, withdraw altogether from the (non-member) state of Palestine, taking soldiers and settlers back to Israel. That's all.

10 ) Elisheva / USA
08/11/2012 00:14
Long live Palestine!

11 ) Kobi / Israel
08/11/2012 13:54
ian, I think your view if you take out the east jerusalem part (thou east jerusalem arabs should get the full right to israeli citizenship) is just and is something most israelis can accept, 2 bad only now the PA and Hamas acknowledge we have aright to our jewish state next to that palestinian state they ask for

12 ) ian / australia
09/11/2012 00:05
#11 Kobi, PM Netanyahu has said "painful concessions" need to be made (to resolve the conflict) and I agree. PAINFUL concessions. On BOTH sides. And here they are (IMHO): Palestinians should relinquish ALL claims to return to (and ownership of) what is now Israel. And Israel should withdraw from ALL territories seized in June 1967. Palestinians forfeit 3/4 of their historic home (to a recent invader) and Israel forfeits the Old City INCLUDING HaKotel to Palestine. Neat, logical, fair, painful.

13 ) ian / australia
09/11/2012 00:07
(contd.) Of course, mutually agreed land swaps can always be negotiated: Pizgat Ze'ev could be traded for an equivalent area, for example. Or even Ariel...if an isolated island/fortress connected by a highway encased in razor-wire (like West Berlin) appeals...and (IMHO), as a gesture of kindness and good will...the Wall and Jewish Quarter, in light of their significance, should be presented as a gift...to Israel, from Palestine (with love).

14 ) ian / australia
09/11/2012 00:29
#11 "ian, I think your view if you take out the east jerusalem part...is just..." But it's NOT just Kobi. It involves Palestinians signing away al-Sakhra al-Musharafa and the Aqsa Mosque...both as significant to Muslims as the Wall is to Jews...and with the threat of demolition (however remote) hovering over them. Is that just? And if "most israelis can accept" it...it's because it's a GREAT deal with no "painful concessions". That's the giveaway. A JUST solution is gonna hurt...both ways.

15 ) Robert / US
09/11/2012 16:37
At Brian Cohen , Freedom of the press,speech.etc in the United States How dare you speak of such falsehoods.we have lost those values, im Sorry to say at the time.But NEVER count out the REAL HEART of Americans to change and prevail to protect all those rights !!!. Facism is not the anwser Brian
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Abbas congratulates Obama on second term
Hamas calls on Obama to end Israel bias
Netanyahu congratulates Obama on re-election

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