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Hamas: Abbas running after French mirage

17 May 2016 8:34


Hamas has sharply criticized Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for embracing France’s “peace” initiative despite the Israeli rejection of the proposal.

Tel Aviv has already opposed the French initiative but “President Mahmoud Abbas is sticking to it like one who is running after a mirage,” senior Hamas official Osama Hamdan said Sunday, the Quds Press reported.

“The proposed partner is the occupation, which continues its efforts to Judaize al-Quds (Jerusalem), expand settlements and proposing bids to annex Area C,” he said.

Hamdan also criticized the French initiative for the revival of stalled talks between the Palestinians and Israelis due to its “unclear” terms.

He further said Abbas has welcomed this initiative in an attempt to gain international legitimacy as his “internal legitimacy” is declining.

“There is no doubt that the international legitimacy is importance, but it does not have any value if it is not based on a real popular legitimacy.”

The French-proposed forum, scheduled to begin on May 30, would bring together ministers from about 20 countries, the EU and the UN but without Palestinian or Israeli representatives.

French President Francois Hollande said on Tuesday the conference has been postponed.

Israel had already rejected the initiative, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying direct talks were the only solution to the conflict.

On Sunday, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, who met with both Abbas and Netanyahu during a one-day visit to the region, stressed that the meeting will take place as planned despite Israel’s opposition.

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