The United States is having trouble convincing Arab leaders not to work with a Hamas-led government in the Palestinian territories. The US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on a visit to Cairo urged the Egyptian President not to provide Hamas with any financial help until it recognizes Israel’s right to exist and ends violent attacks against the Jewish state.
But Arab countries have made clear Hamas is now forming a government because it won Palestinian elections. One of the leaders of the militant group Ismail Haniyeh is today trying to form a government after getting the approval from the President Mahmoud Abbas. Hamas has given no indication that it is prepared to end attacks against Israel and has called peace talks a waste of time. But Arab leaders have told the Americans to adopt a ‘wait and see position’ and see how Hamas acts now that it has real power.