Hamas rebuffs call for resuming direct Mideast peace talks
The Islamic Hamas movement ruling the Gaza Strip rejected Friday a call for Israelis and Palestinians to resume peace talks, with a spokesman saying it was "a new attempt to deceive our people", dpa reported.
The invitation was issued separately Friday by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the European Union. The Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization was set to meet later Friday night to discuss the official Palestinian response to the US and EU call.
Sami Abu Zuhri, a spokesman for the Islamist group, said in a statement that the invite was "useless and will bring us back to zero without achieving any results."
He said the US calls to resume the talks "ignored the Palestinians demand to halt Jewish settlement," adding "these talks would legalize settlement and approve its continuation."
Western countries have placed Hamas under a diplomatic boycott because of its refusal to renounce violence, honour past Israeli- Palestinian agreement,s and recognise Israel's right to exist.