Hamas, Islamic Jihad dismiss Abbas speech

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Maan News Agency | Sept 16, 2011

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Hamas and Islamic Jihad late Friday dismissed President Mahmoud Abbas’ UN membership initiative and criticized a speech in which he expressed hope that peace talks would resume soon.

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said Abbas’ speech was an effort in marketing for a return to peace talks with Israel, while going to the UN to seek membership served the same goal.

Abbas is placing unilateral steps ahead of the Palestinians’ fate, he told Ma’an.

Barhoum said Hamas would play no part in an initiative premised on recognizing Israel or giving up on Palestinian rights such as the right of return and right to self-determination.

Abbas’ references to reconciliation contrast with unilateral actions he is taking out of step with the national consensus, Barhoum added, whereas Hamas wants a national strategy backed by the region.

Islamic Jihad, meanwhile, said Abbas contradicted himself during the announcement in Ramallah, particularly when noting that negotiations reached a dead end while insisting he was ready to start them again.

Spokesman Daoud Shehab said going to the Security Council would accomplish little for the Palestinians. Instead, Abbas should focus implementing a reconciliation deal signed in May, he said.


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