Hamas on Tuesday reiterated its opposition to the peace talks with Israel.
The Palestinians will not accept any agreement that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas signs with Israel, Hamas official Salah Bardaweel said. Bardaweel claimed that the current peace talks were aimed at “liquidating” the Palestinian cause.
He criticized Abbas for telling The New York Times earlier this week that he would agree to the establishment of a demilitarized state.
“Such statements are a preface for liquidating the Palestinian cause and preventing the right of return for Palestinian refugees,” Bardaweel said. “The biggest disaster would be to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. This would pave the way for the expulsion of more Palestinians from their historic land.”
Wasfi Qabaha, a senior Hamas official in the West Bank, criticized Abbas for saying that he would agree to the deployment of NATO troops in the future Palestinian state.
Such a move would mean capitulation to Zionist-American pressure and extortion, Qabaha said. The presence of foreign troops in a Palestinian state would harm its independence and sovereignty, he said. “This would be a new Israeli occupation under a different label and shape,” he charged.
A senior Islamic Jihad official threatened on Tuesday that his group would foil any agreement between the PA and Israel. The French newspaper Le Figaro quoted Ahmed al-Mudalal as saying that his group is completely opposed to the peace talks and would destroy any agreement that “legalizes Zionist occupation in Palestine.”
Meanwhile, Hamas and Islamic Jihad accused the PA security forces of arresting 10 of their supporters in the West Bank in the past 48 hours.