Hamas blasts 'absurd' Paris conference

Hamas rejects the outcome of the Paris conference on Israeli-PA peace, says it gave legitimacy to the "Zionist entity".

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Elad Benari,

Hamas terrorist in Gaza
Hamas terrorist in Gaza
Emad Nassar/Flash 90

The Hamas terrorist group on Monday rejected the outcome of Sunday’s Paris conference on Israeli-Palestinian Authority (PA) peace, labelling the summit "absurd", AFP reports.

"The Paris conference is a return to the absurd negotiation approach, which lost the rights of the Palestinian people and gave legitimacy to the Zionist entity on Palestinian land," said Hamas spokesman Fawzy Barhoum in a statement.

Barhoum called on the various Palestinian Arab factions to unite on a "national strategy" centered on the "resistance in defense of our people."

The Paris conference included representatives of around 70 countries who later released a joint statement supporting an independent Palestinian state as part of a negotiated agreement with Israel.

The statement warned Israel and the PA against "unilateral steps" that could threaten a two-state solution, but included no serious enforcement mechanisms.

Israeli and PA representatives were not in attendance at the summit, which was backed by the PA but not by Israel, which insists that the only way to achieve peace is by direct negotiations.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke out against the conference on Sunday morning, describing it as "a worthless and empty conference. Its only purpose is to attempt to force Israel to agree to conditions which do not aid Israel's national interests.

"This conference also harms the chance for peace, since it strengthens the Palestinians' refusal to negotiate and allows them to ignore the need for compromise without preconditions,” he added.

PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas welcomed the statement released after the conference, saying that there were “positive elements” in it, such as the fact that it confirmed the international authority for a solution to the conflict, including international law, as well as the fact that it expressed opposition to Israeli “settlements” and policy that determines facts on the ground, including in Jerusalem.

Hamas and Abbas’s Fatah faction are embroiled in an ongoing feud which began in 2007, when Hamas violently took control of Gaza from Fatah. Repeated attempts to agree on reconciliation have failed.

While Hamas openly calls for Israel’s destruction and rejects any negotiations, Abbas takes a different approach. He tells the West in English that he is a peace partner for Israel, while his Arabic television channels and social media pages encourage Palestinian Arabs to carry out terror attacks against Israelis.