In the first meeting of the Israeli cabinet since Hamas’s victory in the Palestinian elections the government has made its first declarations concerning the future course of relations between the two sides. Interim prime minister Ehud Olmert demanded Hamas change its founding charter;
“We insist that Hamas recognise Israel’s right to exist with secure and recognised frontiers, and that it respects all the Palestinian Authorities’ agreements and committments…International leaders I have consulted are in complete agreement”.
Hamas’s constitution includes a phrase calling for the destruction of Israel, and Israel wants this removed, and for the organisation to disarm before it will consider dealing with it.
Defence minister Shaoul Mofaz later added that Hamas would not be immune from retaliation if it continued terrorist activity, and that its leaders would be hunted down if it broke its near year-long truce.