Hamas says PA’s direct talks with Israel are illegitimate

August 26, 2010 - 0:0

Hamas political bureau chief Khaled Meshaal says the upcoming direct talks between the Palestinian Authority and Israel are illegitimate and a result of U.S. coercion.

“These negotiations are taking place by force of coercion and with an American summons,” the head of Hamas' political bureau told reporters in the Syrian capital on Tuesday, the Canadian Press news agency reported.
Meshaal said the talks are “illegitimate and do not commit our people to anything.”
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton invited Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) to resume direct negotiations, frozen since Tel Aviv's 2008 offensive against the Gaza Strip which killed more than 1,400 Palestinians -- mostly civilians.
The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) agreed to the invitation and the PA is expected to join the new rounds of negotiations set to begin September 2 and be chaired by U.S. President Barack Obama.
The decision to accept the U.S. call to direct negotiations without any preconditions drew sharp criticism from Palestinian factions, both in the Hamas-run Gaza and within the PLO.
“Wake up. Do not allow for these adventures and sins to take place under your name,” Meshaal warned the PA leadership.
Obama plans to hold separate meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and acting Palestinian Authority Chief Mahmoud Abbas on September 1 before hosting a dinner for both, which will also be attended by Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak and Jordan's King Abdullah II.
Meshaal called on Mubarak and King Abdullah to not take part, warning the negotiations could lead to “catastrophic results” for the region.
(Source: Press TV)