KING: We're back with President Carter. You were there. Is there any chance of Hamas turning away from the violent statements in their concept?It's eerie. Almost like Jimmy was a prophet or something. He just nailed it - the discipline, the desire for peace, the chances of Hamas becoming peaceful. An amazing job.
CARTER: Yes, I think there's a good chance, Larry. After Arafat was elected ten years ago, I was there and he knew me and he asked me to intercede with Hamas leaders to see if at that time they wouldn't accept the new Palestinian government, the parliament members and Arafat as president.
And, I spent a while with them but some of their leaders were out of the country, so I arranged to meet with the leadership in Cairo after I left Palestine. But when the time came they canceled on the meeting, so I haven't had any contact with them since until two days after this election.
I did meet with some of the same Hamas members in Ramallah and I think they told me they want to have a peaceful administration. They want to have a unity government, bring in the Fatah members and the independent members and I think that there's a good chance that they will, of course, what they say, what they do is two different matters.
One thing they pointed out and Israeli security confirmed this to me, Hamas leadership in August of 2004 pledged themselves to apply a cease-fire and they haven't committed any actions of violence in the last 18 months. [Here is proof of that Hamas "truce" during those 18 months - EoZ]
This indicates what they might do in the future but it also indicates another thing I think is quite interesting. That is that Hamas is a highly-disciplined organization and if they say "We will not have any violence from our people," I think they can enforce what they say.
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