Haneya: Palestinians agree on rebuffing direct talks with Israel
Ismail Haneya, prime minister of the deposed Hamas government in Gaza, said Saturday evening there is a Palestinian consensus on rebuffing the resumption of direct talks with Israel, Xinhua reported.
"The choice of resuming the direct talks with Israel is absurd and hasn't achieved any of the just Palestinian requirements," Haneya said in Gaza, calling on the Palestinians to stick to the basic Palestinian principles.
On Thursday, an Arab League committee on the peace process recommended to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to go for direct peace talks with Israel whenever he decides.
"The Arab states' decision to give the negotiations a cover is far from the Palestinian interests, a violation of the national consensus and completely serves the interests of Israel and the Quartet committee," said Haneya.
The United States has been pressuring on the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) to accept going to direct talks with Israel in a bid to push forward the Middle East peace process which has been stalled since 2008.
"Any resumption of any talks with Israel would give the occupation a cover to continue its crimes against the Palestinian people," said Haneya, whose movement rules the Gaza Strip and considers Abbas a bitter rival.
The PNA is seeking guarantees from the United States to commit Israel to an international reference as well as the complete cessation of Jewish settlement activities in order to accept to go for direct talks with the Jewish state.