haniyeh 248.88 kefiyeh.
(photo credit: AP [file])
Hamas on Sunday responded to the announcement of a tripartite meeting between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and US President Barack Obama, announced by the White House Saturday overnight.
In a sermon for the Eid el-Fitr holiday marking the end of Ramadan, Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh told Gazans congregating in a stadium in Gaza City that "no one has the right to give up on Jerusalem or the [Palestinian] refugees. Not the PLO and no any other factor can sign an agreement hurting the Palestinian people's principles and rights. Any agreement reached will not be respected by our people."
Haniyeh also said the offers presented this week by US Middle East envoy George Mitchell were "no different than offers by previous US administrations" and were intended to bring about a compromise with Israel at the expense of Palestinians' rights and Jerusalem, since, Haniyeh said, "settlement blocs will remain in place."
Referring to the fact that this holiday is the first Eid el-Fitr since Operation Cast Lead, carried by Israel last January, Haniyeh called the feast "the holiday of victory and perseverance."
In Saturday's statement, Mitchell called the scheduled meeting "another sign of the president's deep commitment to comprehensive peace that he wants to personally engage at this juncture."
The meetings will take place in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meeting.