Hamas rejected Monday an invitation by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud
Abbas for Arab leaders to visit Jerusalem, dismissing Abbas's assertion that a visit to the city would not equal normalization with Israel.
Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said that Hamas officials would only enter Jerusalem in order to "deliver it from the occupation," according to Al Jazeera.
Abbas on Sunday called on Arab leaders to visit Jerusalem, during his
address at the Arab League's International Conference on Jerusalem in
the Qatari capital of Doha.
While Hamas turned down the offer, Barhoum urged Arab and
Islamic leaders to put "political and media" pressure on Israel in
order to isolate the Jewish state and impose "deterrent penalties
Barhoum stressed that sentiment in the Arab world is
aligned with the desire to "liberate Jerusalem, and rid it of the
"This is no longer impossible in light of the Islamic renaissance and the Arab Spring," he said.
Hamas's rejection of the PA's invitation to Arab leaders came after
Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal failed to reach an agreement over a
unity government during talks in Cairo last week.
Last Thursday, Abbas and Mashaal decided to postpone talks about
creating the new reconciled Palestinian government, which was envisaged
in a Qatari-backed reconciliation agreement signed by the two rival