Syria-based Palestinians reject talks with Israel

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
March 8, 2010 14:15

 
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DAMASCUS, Syria — Palestinian opposition groups including the militant Hamas have rejected the Palestinian leadership's decision to hold indirect peace talks with Israel.

A statement signed by eight Damascus-based groups Monday says the decision to hold US-mediated peace talks with Israel for four months comes in response to US and Israeli pressure.

The Palestine Liberation Organization agreed on Sunday to resume indirect talks with Israel, effectively ending a 14-month breakdown in communications between the two side. The decision also marks a first achievement in more than a year for US regional diplomacy.

Monday's statement says the decision is a retreat from an earlier pledge not to negotiate with Israel before it halts its settlement activities.

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