Jimmy Carter: Give Hamas a Chance

Jimmy Carter: Give Hamas a chance
Former president says U.S. should not cut off aid to Palestinians

Thursday, February 2, 2006; Posted: 7:12 a.m. EST (12:12 GMT)
(CNN) — Hamas deserves to be recognized by the international community, and despite the group’s militant history, there is a chance the soon-to-be Palestinian leaders could turn away from violence, former President Jimmy Carter said Wednesday.

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Carter, who monitored last week’s Palestinian elections in which Hamas handily toppled the ruling Fatah, added that the United States should not cut off aid to the Palestinian people, but rather funnel it through third parties like the U.N.

“If you sponsor an election or promote democracy and freedom around the world, then when people make their own decision about their leaders, I think that all the governments should recognize that administration and let them form their government,” Carter said. (Watch the former president cautiously defend Hamas — 4:35)