Hamas calls for end to PA-Israel talks after arrests

Israel nabs PA parliamentary speaker Aziz Dweik on suspicion of involvement with terror groups.

By REUTERS
January 20, 2012 13:04
1 minute read.
Hamas official Aziz Dweik [file photo]

Hamas official Aziz Dweik 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Fadi Arouri)

GAZA - Hamas urged Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday to suspend exploratory peace talks with Israel following Israel's arrest of two Hamas legislators, and to stop his cooperation on West Bank security with the Israelis.

IDF soldiers arrested senior Hamas official Aziz Dweik, speaker of the Palestinian parliament, on suspicion of involvement with terrorist groups, and detained another lawmaker of the group from Bethlehem, Khaled Tafish.

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Hamas' Gaza Strip leader Ismail Haniyeh, recently back from a tour of Arab states, praised the rise of the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood in the Arab world and predicted "black days" for Israel "because the nations know their path now".

IDF soldiers on Thursday arrested senior Hamas official Aziz Dweik, speaker of the Palestinian parliament, on suspicion of involvement with terrorist groups, and detained another lawmaker of the group from Bethlehem, Khaled Tafish.

Hamas said Dweik was taken into custody at a checkpoint near the city of Ramallah. It accused Israel of trying to undermine moves by Abbas and Hamas leader-in-exile Khaled Mashaal to end four years of bitter rivalry and unite the two main Palestinian factions.

Haniyeh, speaking at a Gaza mosque after Friday prayers, said Abbas should call off meetings with Israeli negotiators in Jordan which are aimed at reviving peace negotiations suspended 15 months ago.

"The pointless and failed meetings should stop. These failed experiences should stop," he said. "A Palestinian should not shake the hand of his enemy, the enemy who arrests the symbols of Palestinian legitimacy."

"We want to see something in the West Bank. We want to see the prisoners freed. We want to see the security coordination with the (Israeli) occupation stopped," Haniyeh said.

"Palestinian reconciliation and security cooperation with the occupation are two parallel lines that cannot meet."


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