PFLP Says Israel Talks 'Poison'
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine warned Monday that PLO meetings with Israeli envoys in Amman, Jordan were "poison" for reconciliation talks between Fatah and Hamas.
The statement came as PLO negotiators prepared to meet Israeli envoys in the Jordanian capital Monday for a second round of "exploratory talks" called for by the Quartet for Middle East peace.
The PFLP, long opposed to the two-state solution in favor of Israel's destruction, called the meetings a "grave political mistake," and called for PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas to withdraw from talks saying they were poisoning reconciliation efforts between Fatah and Hamas.
"Such meetings poison the atmosphere for reconciliation efforts," senior PFLP leader Kayid Al-Ghoul said in a press release.
"PLO officials should halt negotiations with Israel and speed up the reconciliation process," he said in a statement on Monday.
"While serious talks are ongoing in Cairo to end enmity between Fatah and Hamas, the meetings in Amman can only be meant to thwart reconciliation and undermine any political consensus," PFLP warned.
"Claiming that these meetings are attempts to explore Israel’s attitudes is a witless and misleading justification," Al-Ghoul said.
"Israel’s attitudes are clearly announced and well-known and such meetings just give the Israeli government more time to avoid international pressure on Israel because of the obstacles it is creating on the ground."
The PFLP leader said negotiations were fruitless and the policy to pursue them should be reconsidered in favor of national unity efforts.
Al-Ghoul's statements come amid a growing row between Hamas and Fatah that started last Friday when four senior Fatah officials were refused entry to Gaza by Hamas.
Both sides have accused each other of using the incident – and the tentative talks with Israel in Jordan – as a pretext for derailing the unity agreement signed in Cairo last May.