Palestinian factions slam Abbas for accepting French peace initiative

14:26, June 05, 2011      

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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' announcement to accept a French initiative to resume the peace talks with Israel on Saturday outraged various Palestinian factions and political powers, mainly his rival Islamic Hamas movement.

Abbas' office said Saturday in a press release that the Palestinian leadership accepted the French initiative to resume the stalled peace negotiations with Israel, adding that the French initiative went in line with the Palestinian aspirations.

Nabil Abu Rdeineh, spokesman of the Palestinian president, told Xinhua that Abbas received the initiative during a visit to Rome last Wednesday with the French foreign minister. Abbas welcomed the initiative and reiterated his readiness to go ahead in the peace process in accordance to the international legitimacy.

The French initiative prohibits Israel from carrying out any unilateral actions, "a thing that is accepted by the Palestinians, " Abu Rdeineh said, adding that "the initiative is based on the principle of the two-state solution."

The initiative calls for international peace conference sponsored by France and held at the same time with the donors' conference in Paris, to debate a plan for development in the Palestinian territories for the coming three years, with a sum of donations reaching 5 billion U.S. dollars.

Abbas had stressed that the peace talks were his first and last choice, while insisting that the settlement activities in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel in 1967 must be stopped.

Israel hasn't given any response to the initiative.

Meanwhile, several Palestinian factions, including the major rival Hamas, which signed a reconciliation agreement with Abbas' Fatah party last month, slammed his acceptance of the French initiative.

Salah al-Bardaweel, a senior Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip, told Xinhua that Abbas' acceptance of the French initiative "was a hasty step, it is a wrong step and meaningless. It would again bring us to an empty circle of absurd talks that will again hurt the internal Palestinian unity."

"What is needed is that Abbas should immediately stop making unilateral decisions. He should consult with the other political powers and factions if he is really committed to the signed reconciliation agreement," said al-Bardaweel, referring to the reconciliation deal signed in Cairo on May 4.

Dawood Shihab, spokesman of the Islamic Jihad movement, told Xinhua that getting back again to debate and discuss the resumption of ill negotiations with Israel "means returning again to the empty circle, to the waste of time and serving Israel's interests."

A senior leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Emad Abu Rahma, said in a press statement that the French initiative "aims at blocking the Palestinians from applying to the United Nations."

After the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians stopped in October, 2010, the Palestinians threatened that they would apply to the United Nations Security Council and demand an international recognition of an independent Palestinian state on the territories occupied by Israel in 1967.

"This initiative is aimed at bringing the Palestinians back to the quarter of the absurd talks," said Abu Rahma, adding that " Abbas made a mistake although he knows the final outcomes of resuming such talks with Israel. We call on Abbas to reject these initiatives and stop talking to Israel."

Source: Xinhua

 
 
     
 
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