Palestinian resistance movement Hamas has rejected the Arab League’s support for resumption of direct peace talks between Israel and Palestinians.
Ismail Radwan, a senior member of Hamas, said on Thursday that the movement rejects “any cover for the resumption of direct discussions with the Zionist occupation.”
The reaction came after Arab officials in a meeting in Egypt expressed support for direct talks between the Palestinian Authority and Israeli officials.
Addressing the United States, the Arab League said in a letter that Arab sates needed “a clear timeframe, specific reference terms and a monitoring mechanism in order to support direct talks.”
Radwan underlined that the recent support from Arab countries would only give Israel a cover to confiscate more Palestinian land and to demolish houses in al-Quds (Jerusalem).
“This committee is not authorized to make concessions over the rights of our people,” DPA quoted the Hamas official as saying.
He called on Arab leaders to immediately withdraw their support for the resumption of talks.
“The Arab League committee should immediately withdraw this cover and reject any call for the resumption of direct or indirect talks,” he added.
The Palestinian Authority 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 Israeli 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.