Palestinian factions reject peace with Israel, slam Arabs
( dpa ) - Palestinian factions backed by representatives from Iran and the Lebanese opposition party Hezbollah rejected Wednesday any peace deal with Israel and vowed to continue the struggle for the liberation of all of "Palestine."
The Syria-based factions lambasted in their conference in Damascus Arab leaders for their inaction towards the hardships of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip resulting from an Israeli blockade.
" Gaza is now the biggest prison in the world. It is the biggest prison in history," Khalid Mishal, the exiled political leader of the Islamic militant group Hamas, told the congregation.
The anti-peace faction leaders, slammed Fatah, the faction of Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas, for signing the Oslo peace agreements with Israel.
"Abbas and his supporters gave up 80 per cent of the land of Palestine. This is why they are cast into the dust bin of history," thundered Ahmed Jibril, the leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
Fatah boycotted the conference, which was to be initially held in November as a radical Palestinian alternative to the US-sponsored Annapolis peace conference.
Syria, which is home to many exiled Palestinian radical politicians, is believed to have pressured them to postpone the meeting until after the Annapolis conference.
Although the Syrians attended the Annapolis parley, the factions declared Damascus "the capital of resistance" against Israel.
Arab leaders, who received the US President George W Bush during his regional tour, were lambasted by the Palestinian and Iranian participants.
Iran, which has a political clout over radical political movements in the region, has sent a delegation to the Damascus meeting.
Its representative, Ali Akbar Mohtashemi, said: "Some Arab rulers were dancing with swords with the Great Satan."
He was referring to a traditional sword dance, which Bush and his Saudi hosts performed during the visit.
Bush sought to enlist the support of his Arab allies for his anti-Iran policy but seemed to have failed as relations between Tehran and its Arab neighbours are improving.
Earlier, Hamas' political leader, Khalid Mishal, welcomed an offer by Abbas to let the PA control the main border crossings in Hamas-run Gaza to help ease the Israeli blockade.
Mishal said Hamas was ready to discuss with Egypt and the Ramallah-based PA ways to run the border crossings.