Hamas: Abbas must reject direct talks with Israel

DAMASCUS, Syria — Hamas and eight other Damascus-based Palestinian groups urged the Palestinian Authority in a statement released Wednesday not to resume direct talks with Israel.
The groups said that direct talks would hurt the Palestinian cause "in light of Israel's continuing policy of aggression, settlements building and blockade of Gaza Strip."
On Monday, an internal Palestinian document obtained by The Associated Press noted that President Barack Obama's envoy is pressing the Palestinians to restart direct peace negotiations with Israel.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has said he won't resume talks that broke off in December 2008 unless Israel accepts the idea of a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem, with some alterations, and freezes all settlement building there.