Palestinian officials from both Fatah and Hamas have rejected the Israeli Prime Minister’s comments. There was praise for President Obama when he said Jewish settlement building must stop, but disappointment that Netanyahu said nothing about a two-state solution.
Fatah Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat said: “The only thing he mentioned was Palestinians’ (are) entitled to govern themselves. How can I govern myself as a Palestinian with his occupation going on my neck, on the hour, every hour? With his roadblocks segregating our towns and villages and refugee camps?” In Gaza, Hamas were less impressed with the American administration, saying that until now there had been no change in policy towards dealing with the Palestinian cause, nor in the region in general. Mushir al-Masri, a Hamas official said: “What is needed from the Americans is to fix the political discourse in the region, to fix the image left by the former Bush administration, and to assure Palestinian rights by standing the same distance from the Palestinians and the Zionists.” Obama believes in getting stuck-in to the issue of making peace between Israel and the Palestinians, in contrast to the Bush administration’s largely hands-off approach.