14 February 2006, RFE -- Acting Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert says Israel will not negotiate with the incoming Hamas leadership of the Palestinians as long as the group remains committed to Israel's destruction.
Olmert reiterated the pledge in a speech in Jerusalem today to visiting Jewish-American leaders.
The acting prime minister said Israel will review all contacts with the Palestinians if the militant group Hamas heads a future government. Hamas won a majority in recent Palestinian legislative elections and is now expected to form a new government.
Hatred From Iran
Olmert also told the conference that he can recall no other major leader in recent years who has displayed such hatred toward Israel as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Ahmadinejad, Olmert said, fights against the entire world in a bid to develop unconventional weapons that will threaten Israel. He said there is good reason to believe Israel will be Iran's first target.
Ahmadinejad has dismissed the Nazi genocide of Jews in World War II as a myth and called for the state of Israel to be "wiped off the map."
(compiled from agency reports)
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