CAIRO: The Palestinian Islamic party Hamas reportedly delivered a letter to US President Barack Obama via Code Pink ahead of the president’s speech at Cairo University on June 4, said Medea Benjamin, head of the American feminist organization.
The letter was delivered to Obama at the American embassy in Cairo, Benjamin told Daily New Egypt, but no major news outlets have published reports on the letter.
The letter invites President Obama to visit the troubled Gaza Strip, calling the visit “essential.
Ahmed Youssef, deputy foreign minister of Hamas, wrote the letter and asked Code Pink to deliver it to the American president while the political activist group was on a peace mission in Gaza earlier this month.
The letter calls on President Obama to “engage all parties on the basis of mutual respect and without preconditions.
“This letter is a real breakthrough, said Medea Benjamin in an emailed press statement.
The American embassy’s press office confirmed receiving the letter. “The letter is being forwarded to the White House, an embassy spokesperson told Daily News Egypt over the phone.
Benjamin added that while “Osama bin Laden used the occasion of President Obama’s visit to deliver a scathing attack, Hamas reached out to a feminist US peace group to deliver a letter to Obama urging dialogue, mutual respect and adherence to international law.
“We in the Hamas government are committed to pursuing a just resolution to the conflict, not in contradiction with the international community and enlightened opinion as expressed in the International Court of Justice, the United Nations General Assembly, and leading human rights organizations, the letter reads.
The letter addresses many issues concerning Gaza, including the recent Israeli war on the impoverished Mediterranean enclave, banned weapons used by the Jewish state during that war, reconstruction efforts and the peace process.
“Human Rights Watch has documented that the white phosphorus Israel dropped on a school, hospital, United Nations warehouse and civilian neighborhoods in Gaza was manufactured in the United States, the letter reads.
“This was a good opportunity, Youssef told Daily News Egypt in reference to the letter via phone from Gaza, “and Obama is someone who would be able to change the situation on the ground.
“Despite the anti-American feelings that roam in the strip, Gazans were very happy about his speech he continued. “Now it is time for action.
He added that as a high-ranking official, he spoke to other Hamas leaders prior to writing the letter and said “this is the position of our country.