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Public Statements

Hamas Merger

Location: Washington, DC

Madam Speaker, the news that Osama bin Laden had been killed by U.S. forces on Sunday brought reassurance to many around the world that justice had finally been served. A man responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocent people of all races and religions had been located and eliminated. However, not everyone saw it the same way.

Ismail Haniyeh, leader of Hamas in Gaza, called bin Laden a sheikh and said, ``We condemn the assassination and the killing of an Arab holy warrior.'' This comes the same week that Palestinian political parties Hamas and Fatah have reconciled and formed a unity government.

How can the United States provide aid to a unity government if one of its most important leaders praises a mass murderer? How can Israel negotiate treaties with a government composed of a party that is actively seeking its destruction?

There cannot be true peace as long as Hamas holds up Osama bin Laden and other terrorists as heroes. The Palestinian people must recognize that hatred and terrorism will never bring them true peace and true independence.

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