Hamas has sharply criticized Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for embracing France’s “peace” initiative despite the Israeli rejection of the proposal.
Tel Aviv has already opposed the French initiative but “President Mahmoud Abbas is sticking to it like one who is running after a mirage,” senior Hamas official Osama Hamdan said Sunday, the Quds Press reported.
“The proposed partner is the occupation, which continues its efforts to Judaize al-Quds (Jerusalem), expand settlements and proposing bids to annex Area C,” he said.
Hamdan also criticized the French initiative for the revival of stalled talks between the Palestinians and Israelis due to its “unclear” terms.
He further said Abbas has welcomed this initiative in an attempt to gain international legitimacy as his “internal legitimacy” is declining.
“There is no doubt that the international legitimacy is importance, but it does not have any value if it is not based on a real popular legitimacy.”
The French-proposed forum, scheduled to begin on May 30, would bring together ministers from about 20 countries, the EU and the UN but without Palestinian or Israeli representatives.
French President Francois Hollande said on Tuesday the conference has been postponed.
Israel had already rejected the initiative, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying direct talks were the only solution to the conflict.
On Sunday, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, who met with both Abbas and Netanyahu during a one-day visit to the region, stressed that the meeting will take place as planned despite Israel’s opposition.
Ayrault highlighted the summit is just the start of a process aimed at getting Israelis and Palestinians back to the negotiating table and not an alternative to direct negotiations.
Tel Aviv’s illegal settlement activities and its refusal to release senior Palestinian prisoners have been cited among major reasons behind the failure of the 2014 talks.
Israel suspended the talks with the Palestinian Authority on April 24, 2014, after Abbas forged a unity pact with the Hamas resistance movement, which is based in the blockaded Gaza Strip.
Israel responded to the unity pact by announcing tenders for the building of 4,800 illegal settler units on the occupied Palestinian territories.
Palestinians want the West Bank as part of their future independent state, with East al-Quds as its capital. The State of Palestine is recognized by 136 out of the 193 United Nations member states.
Some political analysts believe that the Israeli regime is not in favor of a so-called two-state solution in the occupied Palestinian territories.