Hamas dismisses US-brokered peace talks

Hamas dismisses US-brokered peace talks
Sat Jul 20, 2013 08:13:30

Hamas has ruled out US State Secretary John Kerry's announcement of the resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri said on Friday that "Hamas rejects Kerry's announcement of a return to talks and considers the Palestinian Authority's return to negotiations with the occupation to be at odds with the national consensus".

Zuhri said Palestinian Authority Chief Mahmoud Abbas "has no legitimacy to negotiate in the name of the Palestinian people on the core issues".

Palestinian Authority has yet to respond to Kerry's announcement.

However Palestinian Authority spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudeina issued a statement noting that some details must still be solved before negotiations start.

He also stressed that if everything goes well, Kerry will invite Saeb Erekat and the Israeli regime’s representative for initial talks in Washington in the coming days.

Kerry has visited the Middle East six times in an effort to resume talks, which have been stalled since 2010 due to the illegal expansion of Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Israel objects to key points mentioned by Palestinians as their basic needs to be able to start negotiations, including a return to 1967 borders, the inclusion of occupied East al-Quds in a Palestinian state, and the return of Palestinian refugees to occupied territory that Israel claims as its own.

More than half a million Israelis live in over 120 illegal settlements built since Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds in 1967.

The United Nations and most countries regard the Israeli settlements as illegal because the territories were captured by Israel in a war in 1967 and are hence subject to the Geneva Conventions, which forbids construction on occupied lands.


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