Palestinian groups reject talks

Syria-based Palestinian factions say direct peace talks are to bury Palestinians' rights.

    Al-Tahir, second left, says Israel does not want to be governed by international law [Reuters] 

    The statement was signed by Hamas, whose political leadership lives in exile in Syria, as well 10 other groups including Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC).

    The left-wing Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) and Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) factions also signed the statement.

    Quartet announcement

    Maher al-Tahir of the PFLP told Al Jazeera that his groups was against direct talks because Israel has refused to accept UN resolutions and international law as the basis of the talks.

    "We see this as an attempt to impose Israel's will on the Palestinians. Israel has a history of discarding UN resolutions and international law principles," al-Tahir said.

    The Middle East peace Quartet - the European Union, Russia, United Nations and United States - is expected to issue a statement in the coming days formally inviting Israel and the Palestinians to resume direct talks.

    The international community has been putting increasing pressure on the Palestinians to move from US-brokered indirect talks to direct negotiations.

    But Abbas has insisted he will not upgrade to direct negotiations without a complete freeze on Jewish settlements, clear guidelines on final borders and a timeline for reaching an agreement.

    The last round of direct talks collapsed in December 2008 when Israel launched a blistering offensive on the Gaza Strip aimed at halting rocket attacks. 

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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