Fatah, Hamas officials down on Amman talks

Hamas official says talks "waste of time," only benefiting Israel, Quartet; Fatah official says Israel came "empty handed."

By JPOST.COM STAFF
January 4, 2012 17:33
2 minute read.
Amman talks with Blair

Amman talks with Blair_311. (photo credit: Reuters)

 
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Officials from Fatah and Hamas Wednesday criticized meetings between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators in Jordan Tuesday, complaining that Israel came "empty handed," and calling the talks a "waste of time."

A senior Fatah official told hundreds of Palestinians rallying in Ramallah Wednesday that Israel disappointed Palestinian and Jordanian leaders during talks in Amman Wednesday, and that "popular resistance will be fired off soon," AFP in Arabic reported.

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According to the official, Mahmoud Al Aloul, the Palestinian Authority had seized the opportunity for the pursuit of peace, responding to the Jordanian initiative, and received little in return.

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"Our efforts were in vain," the Fatah official said according to AFP, adding that Israeli negotiators came to the meetings "empty handed."

"Israelis disappointed our hopes, and the hopes of the Jordanians, when their side came empty handed, without any new ideas and without any prepared solutions," Al Aloul declared, adding he hoped this would be a year of "popular resistance against Israeli violations."

Hamas on Wednesday criticized the previous day's meeting in Amman between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators, the first such meetings in 16 months, as a waste of time.

Hamas spokesman Izzat al-Rishq said the talks only served to "sell illusions to the Palestinian people" and benefit Israel and the Middle East Quartet, "which is trying to repair its image."

The official also condemned the Palestinian Authority's participation, saying that the "absurd" meeting did not receive support from the Palestinian people.

The negotiators met in Amman on Tuesday for the first direct talks in 16 months. They agreed to continue talking, with another round scheduled in Jordan next week, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh, who hosted the talks, said at a press conference after the meeting that the Palestinian delegation submitted proposals on border and security issues to Israel, and that the Israeli team took the proposals and said it would respond and present its ideas in a future meeting. One principle that Israel is expected to put forward is the need for an Israeli security presence along the Jordan River in any agreement.

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