Hamas slams 'absurd' Paris peace conference

Hamas slams 'absurd' Paris peace conference
2 min read
17 January, 2017
Palestinian movement Hamas rejected the outcome of a Paris conference on Monday, saying it was a return to the negotiation approach which lost the rights of the Palestinians.
Around 70 countries attending Sunday's talks in Paris [AFP]
Palestinian movement Hamas rejected the outcome of a Paris conference on Israeli-Palestinian peace, labelling the summit "absurd".

"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," Fawzy Barhoum, a spokesman for Hamas, said in a statement on Monday. 

Hamas rules the Gaza Strip, while the Palestinian Authority led by President Mahmoud Abbas controls the West Bank and is the partner for peace negotiations with Israel and the West. 

Barhoum called for the various Palestinian factions to unite on a "national strategy" around the "resistance in defence of our people". 

Around 70 countries attending Sunday's talks in Paris agreed a joint statement supporting an independent Palestinian state as part of a negotiated settlement with Israel. 

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

Abbas ally Saeb Erekat hailed the conference as creating "momentum" towards ending Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories. 

Palestinian political scientist Khalil Shaheen welcomed the fact the conference "showed the commitment of dozens of countries to the two-state solution, an important message to the Israelis and the Trump administration".

However, "at the same time, the declaration of the Paris conference was without teeth", he added, referring to the lack of enforcement mechanisms. 

The Israelis have warned they will not be bound by the declaration.