Leaders of Hamas threatened to escalate violence after the conclusion of this week’s Annapolis conference. They condemned Arab leaders for attending the meeting and, according to Same Abu Zuhi, they opened the door for “normalization with the occupation”(West Bank Settlements). Another Hamas official Abu Marzouk warned that “resistance in all its forms will escalate because Annapolis will expose the arbitrariness of the settlement track and its destructive endeavours.” Hamas officials also threatened to use more lethal rockets in bombing Israeli towns.
The reality of Annapolis is the weakness of both Olmert an Abbas to carry out any agreements. Olmert lacks political strength to make any dramatic peace moves while the authority of Abbas barely extends beyond certain areas of the West Bank. Abbas needs Hamas if he is to make an effective peace agreement that actually can be put into effect. If Hamas had been invited to Annapolis, its leaders would have been surrounded by Arab leaders who would not stand for rhetoric since they want and need stability in the Middle East. By allowing Hamas to stand on the outside looking in the opportunity to bring them inside was lost.