Hamas political chief Khaled Meshaal says the Arab League’s endorsement of direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians indicates the body’s ineffective leadership.
Describing the decision made by the Arab Peace Initiative committee as an attempt to mitigate the negativity of Arab political positions, Meshaal said on Friday that the Arab leaders were suffering from a lack of “leadership that can push their nations forward.”
“It seems that the embarrassment the Arab leaders are feeling at this time is greater. They do not want to show that they’re shying away from their decisions, so they came up with a vague result, saying neither ‘yes’ nor ‘no’ to an immediate resumption of direct negotiations with Israel,” Al-Jazeera quoted Meshaal as saying.
He accused the AL of bowing to Western pressure and not considering Palestinian unity, describing some Arab policies as “conflicting.”
Meshaal’s comments come one day after the majority of Arab officials endorsed direct Israeli-Palestinian peace talks in a meeting in Cairo but left the time of the talks to the Palestinian Authority.
The PA has repeatedly said that it will only join direct talks with Israel after Tel Aviv ends the expansion of illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank and accepts a full withdrawal to the borders of 1967.
The Palestinian Authority has also called for the resumption of the negotiations from the point they were left off at the end of 2008.
Acting Palestinian Authority Chief Mahmoud Abbas said on Sunday that direct talks would resume after agreements are made on key issues in the ongoing indirect “proximity talks,” which the Fatah-led West Bank authority entered under US pressure, despite opposition from other West Bank factions and rival Gaza-based parties.
Direct peace talks between the Palestinians and Israelis were broken off in December 2008 when Israel launched a deadly onslaught on the Gaza Strip, killing at least 1,400 people, mostly civilians, in the impoverished territory.