State Dept: US Received Hamas Letter for Obama

Hamas Denies Sending Any Such Letter

During an official visit to the Gaza Strip yesterday, Senator John Kerry went out of his way to avoid anyone associated with the Hamas government. Yet through a rather convoluted series of events, the former presidential candidate left the Gaza Strip with a letter that the State Department believes is from Hamas.

The letter was given to Sen. Kerry by the head of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency Chris Gunness, who said it was “left at the gates of our offices in Gaza.” Gunness said he believed the letter was from Hamas but that “we don’t open other people’s mail.”

The State Department seems convinced of the letter’s authenticity, in spite of its rather colorful origin story. At the same time, Hamas officials have denied that any such letter was sent letter was sent, but spokesman Fawzi Barhum did express an openness to “forge ties with anyone who is ready to back the rights of the Palestinian people.”

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.