Hamas breaks off dialogue with Abbas

Hamas says it has broken off its dialogue with Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas, accusing him of abandoning Palestinian rights.

Rantissi: It is better for the
government to resign

Senior Hamas political leader, Abd al-Aziz Rantissi, lashed out at Abbas on Friday, saying the premier made “dangerous and unacceptable” commitments at the Aqaba summit.


“Abu Mazen (as Abbas is popularly known) does not represent us, and we refuse to meet with him because there is no point to it”, Rantissi said.


“This government has gone too far in giving up Palestinian rights… and it is better for it to resign”, he told Aljazeera.


Abbas said on 29 May that he expected to reach a ceasefire agreement with Hamas this week.


But the other main Palestinian resistance group Islamic Jihad says the premier should continue the dialogue to clarify his stands at the Aqaba summit.


Islamic Jihad’s call for dialogue came just hours after Hamas said it would halt its talks with Abbas.


“We want Abu Mazen to open dialogue with all Palestinian movements,” senior Islamic Jihad leader Mohammed al-Hindi said.


“He must explain his condemnation of our resistance and why he did not make any reference to the Israeli occupation during his speech at the Aqaba summit” on Wednesday in Jordan, al-Hindi said.


But Rantissi said Abbas made unacceptable commitments before Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and US President George W. Bush at the Aqaba summit in Jordan on Wednesday.


The summit ended with a pledge from Abbas to “demilitarise the intifada (or uprising)” in reference to resistance activities against Israeli targets.


The Hamas leader described the pledge as “dangerous”, saying that it was made without consulting Palestinian factions and the Palestinian people.


Despite the growing differences between Abbas and Palestinian resistance groups, Rantissi said Hamas would avoid clashes with Palestinian authorities.


“We will not engage in a confrontation but, at the same time, we will not abandon the right of return and will not give up one inch of Palestine”, he said.


The Israeli cabinet’s conditional approval of the US-sponsored “road map” plan was followed by a resolution denying Palestinians the right of return to their homeland.


More killings


The Hamas reaction to the Aqaba summit followed the killing and mutilating of two Palestinian resistance fighters overnight in the village of Ateel near the West Bank town of Tulkarem.


Aljazeera’s correspondent reported that the residents of Ateel found two severed hands in the house where the killing occurred. The hands, one dark and the other fair, belonged to the Palestinian fighters.


Islamic Jihad said the slain fighters were members of its group.


A senior Arafat aide, Nabil Abu Rudeina, reacted to the killings by saying Israel had already returned to “its assassination policy after the two summits”, referring to Aqaba and Sharm al-Sheikh meetings.


Early Friday, three mortar rounds were fired at a Jewish settlement in the Gaza Strip without causing casualties, a spokesman for the Israeli occupation forces said. Another shell targeted an Israeli position but caused no damage.


The spokesman said its forces discovered two tunnels overnight linking the southern city of Rafah to the Egyptian border.

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