Hamas official: Group would consider attending Annapolis if invited

A Hamas official said Wednesday his organization would consider attending an upcoming US-sponsored Middle East peace parley in Annapolis if invited, Israel Radio reported. In an interview to Palestinian news agency Ma'an, Ahmed Yussuf, political adviser to Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, said Hamas would not act against the will of the Palestinian people for peace or against a good agreement. He said the organization was interested in a long-term cease-fire with Israel but not in a peace agreement. However, Yussuf also said he believed the conference would not be successful and added that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas did not have a mandate to negotiate on behalf of the Palestinian people. Hamas, along with other radical Palestinian groups, has called a conference in Damascus in response to the Annapolis parley. No date has yet been set for the "counter-conference."