Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh sent President Barack Obama a letter in which he urged the US to "support the Palestinians' right to freedom and independence," the Al-Jazeera TV network reported Monday evening.
Haniyeh congratulated Obama and said his election was a "day of victory for the human struggle for freedom.
"Your appointment expresses the triumph of egalitarian values over discrimination and humanity over extremism," the Hamas leader wrote.
"The Palestinians are continuing along the path towards freedom and justice, as other nations in South Africa and America have in the past. However, they will never be content as long as they remain victims of terrorist and barbaric occupation. The death of 1,330 Palestinians by the forces of the occupation during the war in Gaza did not occur because of their political affiliation, but because they seek freedom."
Haniyeh added that "the Palestinian nation will never be satisfied as long as it is denied all of the human rights that everyone in America and the rest of the free world is granted."
Last week Obama assured Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas that he intended "to work with him as partners to establish a durable peace in the region," Abbas' spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina said.
Obama told Abbas that the president was the first foreign leader he called since taking office, Rudeina said.
"This is my first phone call to a foreign leader and I'm making it only hours after I took office," Rudeina quoted Obama as telling Abbas.