Text and vote of House of Representatives Resolution 575, December 16, 2005.
Whereas the foundation for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process was Palestinian recognition of Israel’s right to exist and a solemn obligation to end terrorism and violence; (Engrossed as Agreed to or Passed by House)
Whereas the foundation for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process was Palestinian recognition of Israel’s right to exist and a solemn obligation to end terrorism and violence;
Whereas the removal of all Israeli presence in Gaza signifies an end to Israeli responsibility there and a shift in security responsibility of Gaza to the Palestinian Authority;
Whereas Israel’s evacuation of Gaza affords the Palestinian Authority, now the responsible governing authority in Gaza, the opportunity to demonstrate its ability to govern, to establish the rule of law, to end corruption, and thereby to demonstrate that it is a partner for peace;
Whereas Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has repeatedly called for the establishment of `One Authority, One Law, and One Gun’;
Whereas since the withdrawal of Israeli military forces, the Palestinian Authority has taken few steps to establish rule of law in Gaza; Whereas Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade, and other terrorist organizations have vowed to continue terrorism against Israeli civilians, seek the destruction of the State of Israel, and employ violence and terror in fulfillment of that aim;
Whereas the inclusion of Hamas, or any other terrorist group on the State Department list of foreign terrorist organizations, into the Palestinian structure could be construed as an implicit endorsement of their anti-American and anti-Israeli terrorist ideology;
Whereas the first provision of the Road Map to Middle East Peace calls for the Palestinians to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure;
Whereas these terrorist organizations, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad, operate virtually without interference from the Palestinian Authority;
Whereas Hamas has announced its intention to run in Palestinian legislative elections scheduled for January 2006;
Whereas Abbas has indicated his willingness to see Hamas participate in the elections without first calling for it to disband its militia or for it to renounce its goal of destroying the State of Israel;
Whereas the United States has clearly stated that armed militias attached to political parties are incompatible with democratic societies; Whereas President Bush has stated that Hamas `seeks to end dissent in every form, to control every aspect of life * * * the terrorists are preparing a future of oppression and misery’;
Whereas the forces of freedom must continue to keep an untiring vigil against the enemies of rising democracies; and
Whereas the United States has a longstanding policy of not dealing or negotiating with terrorists:
Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the House of Representatives:
(1) reaffirms its commitment to the safety and security of the democratic State of Israel;
(2) asserts that terrorist organizations, such as Hamas, should not be permitted to participate in Palestinian elections until such organizations recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, cease incitement, condemn terrorism, and permanently disarm and dismantle their terrorist infrastructure;
(3) calls on the Palestinian Authority President Abbas before the election to declare openly his intention to take action to dismantle the terrorist organizations;
(4) asserts that the inclusion of Hamas, or any other terrorist group on the Department of State’s list of foreign terrorist organizations, in the Palestinian Authority’s government will inevitably raise serious questions for the United States about the commitment of the Palestinian Authority and its leadership to making peace with Israel and will potentially undermine the ability of the United States to have a constructive relationship with, or provide further assistance to, the Palestinian Authority; and
(5) states its strong belief that, as underlined in every recent Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement, progress in the peace process requires sustained Palestinian effort to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure, and that delay in confronting that principal obligation only emboldens the opponents of peace and threatens its realization.
The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were – yeas 397, nays 17, answered ‘present’ 7, not voting 12.
So (two-thirds of those voting having responded in the affirmative) the rules were suspended and the resolution, as amended, was agreed to.
The title of the resolution was amended so as to read: ‘Asserting that Hamas and other terrorist organizations should not participate in elections held by the Palestinian Authority, and for other purposes.’