"IFP sees new Hamas position as boost for Mid-East peace"

Durban: January 14, 2005

The IFP today praised the peace pledge adopted by the leadership of Hamas as a significant boost for a peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Musa Zondi, the IFP's Secretary-General and National Spokesperson said:

"We are highly encouraged by the new position of Hamas, announced by Shaik Hassan Yousef, Hamas leader in the West Bank, that they were open to stopping violence against Israel and that they were not trying to destroy the State of Israel. This augers well for efforts to mount a fresh peace process to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

He continued:

"We call on all Palestinians to unite behind their newly-elected President, Mahmoud Abbas who is preparaing to enter into fresh negotiations with the Israelis. The Palestinian liberation cause will be best served by a peaceful climate that would encourage the Israelis to enter negotiations with less scepticism."

He also called on the Israeli Government; "to act in a way that would encourage the peace process" and expressed the hope that: "the new Israeli Coalition Government, which includes the Labour Party, would intensify efforts to reach a peace settlement with the Palestinians."

Musa Zondi - 083 440 5966