Hamas opposes direct negotiations

Palestinian organizations sign statement rejecting talks.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
August 15, 2010 19:04
1 minute read.
Hamas Military Wing spokesman

Hamas Military Wing spokesman. (photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Hamas, along with other Palestinian organizations based in Damascus  expressed their opposition to resuming direct talks with Israel, AFP reported Sunday.

US policy towards direct talks aims to mask Israel's plan to continue expanding settlements and take control of Jerusalem, the groups claimed during their meeting.

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According to the AFP report, the groups signed a statement released just hours before Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was due to meet US officials to discuss the renewal of direct talks with Israel which have been frozen since December 2008.

"The Palestinian resistance movements affirm their rejection of direct, or indirect, negotiations and warn against the dangerous consequences of policies aiming at selling cheaply Palestinian national rights," the groups said.

Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command were among the groups that signed the statement.

Other groups that signed the statement included the left-wing Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine and Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

The news comes on the same day that sources in the Palestinian Authority stated that direct negotiations between Israel and the PA will start next week in Cairo, according to a report in the Saudi newspaper Okaz.

The report said the Quartet is expected to issue an announcement setting the frame of reference for the talks.

The US and the international community have been exerting strong pressure on Israel and the Palestinians to begin direct negotiations over a Palestinian state. PA President Mahmoud Abbas in particular has been under constant siege, at one point saying "no human being could tolerate the pressure we are under."

US envoy George Mitchell has been circulating between Israel, the West Bank, and various Arab countries in a bid to push the process forward.

On Friday, a trilateral summit between PA President Mahmoud Abbas, Jordanian King Abdullah, and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak convened in Cairo to discuss the possibility of direct talks.


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