- By Carolyn O'HaraCarolyn O'Hara is a senior editor at Foreign Policy.
This morning, Secretary Clinton got a debriefing from special envoy George Mitchell, who returned from his trip to the Middle East last night. He’ll return to the region before the end of the month for more meetings.
No real details were provided, and they only took a single question with regard to any shift in policy toward Hamas:
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Andrea, you know, we have a very clear policy toward Hamas, and Hamas knows the conditions that have been set forth. They must renounce violence. They must recognize Israel. And they must agree to abide by prior agreements that were entered into by the Palestinian Authority.
We are just at the beginning of this deep and consistent engagement that we are part of, that Senator Mitchell is leading for our Administration, but our conditions with respect to Hamas have not and will not change. It is our hope that the work that needs to be done to move the parties toward an effort to settle many of the disputes that they currently confront will be effective. But Hamas knows that it must stop the rocket fire into Israel. There were rockets yesterday, there were rockets this morning. And it is very difficult to ask any nation to do anything other than defend itself in the wake of that kind of consistent attack. So that’s not new news.