The Palestinian Authority is set to resume direct talks with Israel in Egypt as Palestinians reiterate their opposition to the negotiations.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh on Tuesday to oversee negotiations, which are expected to discuss the thorny issue of settlements in the West Bank and East al-Quds (Jerusalem).
While the Palestinian Authority (PA) has repeatedly warned that Israel’s insistence on continuing construction in occupied territories could derail the talks, Tel Aviv has not yet announced any plans to extend a settlement freeze which expires on September 26.
The parties also have differences over where to begin, as Tel Aviv wants the first issue to be future security arrangements and a Palestinian recognition of Israel.
The Ramallah-based authority, on the other hand, sees the definition of the borders of the future Palestinian state as of prime importance.
Despite strong opposition at home, the PA joined Israel at the negotiating table on September 2 upon the invitation of the US state department, marking the first round of direct talks between Ramallah and Tel Aviv after nearly 20 months.
In a Monday statement, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) described the talks scheduled for Tuesday in Egypt as pointless, saying they would not serve the interests or rights of Palestinians, the Ma’an news agency reported.
The PLFP asked Palestinian Authority leaders and the ruling Palestine Liberation Organization to stop "chasing illusions" and cancel the imminent talks between acting PA Chief Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Sharm el-Sheikh.
Negotiating with Israel only encourages more Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank and al-Quds and will lead to "the occupation committing extra crimes against the Palestinians," the statement concluded.