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Middle East
Scant hope in Gaza for US election
Palestinians in Gaza send their messages to the next US president.
Last Modified: 03 Nov 2008 19:38 GMT

Many Palestinians doubt whether either US presidential candidate can help ease
the crisis in Gaza [GALLO/GETTY]

Ibrahim Ibrash, 55, professor of political science at Al Azhar university  

Several years ago, we stopped depending on the American elections as there is no difference between Democrats and Republicans.

There is an American strategy in the Middle East and the Palestinian conflict - it supports Israeli policy.

However, we hope that the new US president will deal with the Middle East conflict and the Palestinian cause according to international agreements.

We want the US administration to be the guardian of international agreements and to push the Israelis to fulfil their promises regarding the Palestinian-Israeli peace accords which were all signed under the eyes of the international community.

I would choose Barack Obama because his remarks show that he seems less concerned with aggressive US foreign policies and it seems that he seeks reconciliation between the US and the world.

Hamada Hamada, 35, journalist

I hope that the new US president looks at the Palestinian issue from the angle of our rights - which are recognised by UN resolutions.

At the same time, I hope that they stop vetoing any resolutions that support Palestinian rights in the UN Security Council.

I hope that they consider Palestine a real nation when they deal with the Israelis.

Regarding the choice between this [candidate] or that, I say both of them are two faces of the same coin.

Ibrahim al Ghemri, 43, unemployed

I ask the new US president to seek the freedom of the Palestinian prisoners and to eliminate the [Israeli] occupation.

However, I don't think that any of the US candidates will be able to end the occupation as the US considers Israel its strategic ally in the Middle East.

I would like to choose the one who will help the Palestinians more. I think that this would be Obama.

Nedal Shabana, 33, NGO manager

I'd like to see the new US president consider the rights of the Palestinians, such as the right of return and establishing the Palestinian state.

I'd also ask him to urgently lift the siege imposed on the Gaza Strip which kills the sick and children.

But if I had to choose between the two US candidates, I wouldn't choose either.

We have experienced presidents from both parties and none of them has achieved anything favourable regarding our issue.

Majdi Barakat, 45, driver

I ask the new US president to leave the Middle East completely.

I consider US policy in the Middle East [to be] the cause of all wars as it always stands beside the Israelis, especially regarding the Palestinian issue.

Regarding the choice [of candidates], I don't want to choose any.

But I think that the one of Islamic origin [referring to Barack Obama] would be more committed to Islamic issues.

Shereen Humid, 20, university student

I ask him to work towards achieving peace in the Middle East and to stop support for the Israelis.

I ask him to compose a new document that includes the rights of the Palestinians - such as the right of return - the right of resistance against the occupier, the right of independence and the right of self defence.

I ask him to push the Israelis to be committed to the conditions of the peace process in a way that favours not only the Israelis, but also the Palestinians.

I ask them to lift the veto imposed on internal Palestinian dialogue.

I would like to choose McCain, as he seems to not support the Israelis in the same way as Obama.

Linda Ali Hassan, 23, school teacher

I hope that the new US president will be objective in his treatment of the Palestinians and the Israelis in regard to essential issues in the Middle East such as the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the peace process, co-existence and prisoners.

I also ask him to achieve justice between the Palestinians and the Israelis regarding commitment to the peace process.

He has to push the Israelis to implement the decision of the International Court of Justice in The Hague regarding the wall in the West Bank.

The new president should recognise the results of the Palestinian elections and push the Israelis to do so.

I would like to vote for Obama as I see that he will seek the achievement of  Palestinian goals in the context of his origins as a black man who has suffered from discrimination.

Dr Faisal abu Shahla, 56, Palestinian politician (affiliated to Fatah)

We tell the new president that we seek justice; recognition of the rights of the Palestinians, the right of return, the Israeli withdrawal from the lands occupied in 1967 and to push the Israelis to leave Jerusalem and recognise it as the capital of a Palestinian state.

America, as the biggest world power, should use its power to press the Israelis to be committed to Palestinian rights.

We want him to try to push the Israelis to respect international law.

I know that the US is not ruled by its people, but by certain national institutions, however, I see Obama may be the one who will deal with things better as he seeks to globalise issues of human rights and he is against the war in Iraq.

So that, I see that he will help the Palestinians more than others.

Abdul Raof Fares, 42, butcher and shopkeeper

I want the new US president to stop the activities of Israeli settlers who steal Palestinian lands, release Palestinian prisoners and to leave Iraq.

If I have the choice, I would vote for Obama as he and the people of the same origin have suffered too much discrimination.

Thus, he will be able to help those who suffer from what he has suffered from.

Source:
Al Jazeera
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