The senior administration official said that the United States, unlike in the past, did not want to preclude a genuine shift by Hamas, or force the Palestinians into a corner by denouncing any alliance that would include a group the United States and others designate as terrorists. “There is a calculated element to this,” the official said.
When asked if the reconciliation would close the door to any possible negotiations with the Israelis or force a suspension in security assistance the United States has funneled to the Palestinians in the West Bank since 2005, Mrs. Clinton declined to answer directly.
“There are many steps that have yet to be undertaken in order to implement the agreement,” she said. “And we are going to be carefully assessing what this actually means, because there are a number of different potential meanings to it, both on paper and in practice.”
She emphasized, as the administration has always done, that the United States would not accept a Palestinian government that included Hamas unless the group renounced violence, agreed to live by previous Israeli-Palestinian agreements and recognized Israel.