Hamas tells Palestinian Authority to boycott Israel peace talks
Hamas called on the Palestinian Authority Monday to boycott peace talks with Israel, saying such negotiations have not succeeded in the past, dpa reported.
The call came a day before Israeli and Palestinian negotiators are to meet in Amman, Jordan, in the first public face-to-face parley between the sides in 15 months, in an effort to get peace talks going again.
Expectations are low on both the Israeli and Palestinian sides that the meeting will lead to any sort of breakthrough.
"These meetings are a repetition of a track that had failed over the past years," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said in a statement emailed to journalists.
Direct Israeli-Palestinian peace talks broke off in September 2010, after Israel refused to extend a limited, partial 10-month freeze on construction in its West Bank settlements.
Palestinians say the talks cannot resume until and unless Israel institutes a new construction freeze, which will also include East Jerusalem, and acknowledges the de facto borders of June 1967 as the basis for the borders of the future Palestinian state.
On Tuesday, representatives of the Quartet, which comprises the United States, United Nations, European Union and Russia, are scheduled to meet in Amman to discuss the resumption of the peace talks.
Abu Zuhri claimed the US "is controlling the committee and uses it only to serve the Israeli occupation's interests and not to serve any Palestinian interest at all."
Hamas has consistently rejected Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. The movement, which won the 2006 Palestinian legislative elections and administers the Gaza Strip, is under a Western diplomatic boycott for its repeated refusal to honour previous Israeli-Palestinian agreements, renounce violence, and recognize Israel's right to exist.