WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) on Tuesday added his strong support to a Senate resolution reaffirming the United States' commitment to direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations for peace. The resolution, which passed unanimously, reiterates U.S. opposition to the inclusion of Hamas in a unity Palestinian government as long as it continues its refusal to recognize Israel, renounce violence, and honor past agreements.
"Hamas harbors violent intentions toward Israel, and until this changes it cannot be recognized as a legitimate party in any aspect of the peace process that has the good faith commitment of so many," Johanns said. "To award Hamas legitimacy in a peace process it has worked to undermine would have a destructive effect on negotiations and ominous implications for continued U.S. support."
The resolution was introduced by U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.); Johanns was a co-sponsor.