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."