A Hamas member in the Palestinian parliament called for the annihilation of Jews in a video translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI),
"The [Jews] are brought in droves to Palestine so that the Palestinians – and the Islamic nation behind them – will have the honor of annihilating the evil of this gang," Hamas MP and cleric Yunis Al-Astal said last week on Al-Aqsa television. "In just a few years, all the Zionists and the settlers will realize that their arrival in Palestine was for the purpose of the great massacre, by means of which Allah wants to relieve humanity of their evil."
Once the Jews are "massacred," Astal predicts "the land of Palestine will become the capital of the Islamic Caliphate."
These remarks came soon after a Washington Post interview with Amr Moussa, the longtime secretary-general of the Arab League and an Egyptian presidential candidate, in which Moussa asserted that Hamas isn't a terrorist group.
These contradictory representations of Hamas, which is now part of a unity government with the Palestinian Authority, are especially important to consider at the start of a week expected to be crucial for President Obama's Middle East policy. In a meeting at the White House today, the president told Jordan's King Abdullah II that it is imperative for the Israelis and Palestinians to restart negotiations on a two-state solution.
"Despite the many changes - or perhaps because of the many changes - that are taking place in the region, it's more vital than ever that both Israelis and Palestinians find a way to get back to the table and begin negotiating a process whereby they can create ... two states that are living side by side in peace and security," Obama said.
Additionally, Obama is scheduled to make a statement on Thursday regarding U.S. policy towards the "Arab Spring" and then meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday. Netanyahu is then scheduled to address Congress May 24.