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EU Calls for Engaging Hamas Draw Criticism

Hamas draws encouragement from European calls for Europe, Israel and Fatah to engage the terrorist group in talks. "The new voices we are hearing in Europe are an admission that the policy of boycotting the Hamas government was a mistake," said Muhammed al-Madhoun, a senior aide to Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, quoted by the Jerusalem Post.

But Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni warned that such engagement is a grave mistake. "I know that it looks tempting, and I know that the international community is eager to see a kind of an understanding between Hamas and Fatah. This is wrong. This is a mistake -- big mistake, huge," she said. Livni added, "Hamas is a terrorist organization. The requirements of the international community are and were clear. I believe that any compromise with terror, any compromise with these extremists, can lead to undermining the new [West Bank] government in the Palestinian Authority."

In the West Bank's Ramallah, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas issued a decree excluding Hamas from upcoming Palestinian elections and further altered election law to require candidates in presidential and legislative elections "to respect the political program of the PLO."

Iran's IRGC, Quds Force To Be Designated By Executive Order

President Bush has decided to sign an order to block the assets of the Iranian Quds Force, part of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and tasked with "exporting the revolution." Quds Force is central to Iran's support for Hizballah, Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and other terrorist organizations. Report's the New York Sun, "The designation under a new executive order created to list organizations and people sabotaging Iraq's government has been cleared by the National Security Council."

The Washington Post quoted a US official who characterized the intent behind the order in saying, "It makes clear to everyone who the IRGC and their related businesses really are. It removes the excuses for doing business with these people."

Another official said, "It would basically declare open season on these guys," a reference to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps' (IRGC) support for "all the bad actors" in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, such as Hizballah and Hamas.

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