Hamas has denounced the Palestinian Authority for the participation of the caretaker Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in an Israeli conference.
Fayyad addressed Israel’s 10th annual Herzilya conference on Tuesday, following remarks by Tel Aviv’s Defense Minister Ehud Barak.
"The Palestinian Authority’s cooperation with Israel reached a political level and this is a serious indicator that this national side has connected its projects with Israeli interests and policies," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said in a statement.
The conference, organized by the Strategic Studies Institute, is held annually in Israel and contributes to decisions on Israeli policy and strategy relating to security and politics.
During his speech to the Israeli audience, Fayyad denoted the Palestinian Authority’s recognition of Israel’s right to peace and security, and pledged sustained adherence to that commitment, The Jerusalem Post said on its website.
Just as the Palestinians recognized Israel’s right, Fayyad reportedly said, so the concept of two states must be accepted in Israel.
He also offered Israelis his sympathy for the “pain” they have been through in their "long history."
"Like you, we Palestinians have our own history. Right now we are going through lots of pain and suffering. And we have one key aspiration, and that is once again to be able to live alongside you in peace, harmony and security," Fayyad said.
The presence of the Palestinian Authority’s caretaker prime minister in an Israeli meeting and his overly conciliatory gesture has irritated Hamas officials in the Gaza Strip, where Israel is strongly resented for the killing of some 1,400 people during the war Tel Aviv launched against the coastal strip last January.
The resistance movement, who came to power following a sweeping electoral victory in the 2006 general polls, has been resisting Western diplomatic and economic sanctions in order to force it to recognize Israel.
Hamas had to limit its rule to the blockaded Gaza Strip following an orchestrated coup by the rival, Western-backed Fatah faction against the democratically elected Hamas administration. Fatah, has in turn created its own government in the West bank.