Hamas Rejects Extension of Negotiations

Hamas said on Tuesday that it rejects the extension of negotiations with Israel, and called on the Palestinian Authority to “stop this travesty.”

The extension of talks would mark the “genuine ending of the Palestinian cause”, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said.

US peace efforts are teetering on the brink of collapse after Israel refused to free a fourth and final group of 26 veteran Palestinian prisoners which would have completed an agreement that brought the sides back to the negotiating table in July 2013.

Furious Palestinian officials have warned that unless Israel changes its stance on the prisoner releases, it could signal the end of the negotiations, which are in any case due to draw to a close on April 29.

US efforts are currently focused on getting the parties to agree an extension to the end of the year.

Secretary of State John Kerry met Tuesday for two hours with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, before entering talks with Palestinian negotiators at his Jerusalem hotel.

Early on Tuesday, he held a second two-hour meeting with Netanyahu, with sources close to the talks saying they discussed a deal to free Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard as a way of breaking the log-jam in the negotiations.

Shortly after his breakfast meeting with Netanyahu, Kerry was back on a plane heading to Europe for a NATO meeting in Brussels.

But a senior Palestinian source told AFP he would return within 24 hours for talks with President Mahmoud Abbas.

“Kerry will fly to Europe today for previous engagements and will come back to meet the president tomorrow at noon (0900 GMT),” the Palestinian source told AFP.

Kerry had been due to meet Abbas late on Monday but the meeting was cancelled.

(Ma’an – www.maannews.net)

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  1. I have to agree with Hamas. If Israel does not at least agree to a firm plan by the end of april to pull back to its pre 1967 borders, Palestine’s best bet is to go to the UN where Palestine has overwhelming support. But Hamas and the PA must work together.

  2. Who cares about what Hamas says!! No one They are not the legitimate authorized voice of the Palestinian people. They are a destructive and Terrorist gov if you can call HAMAS a government, They take their orders from Iran. Hamas is terrible to the people who live in Gaza. If there are negotiations Hamas would not take part and if there were positive peace agreement Hamas would not be a part and would most likely be an enemy to the new Palestinian State, .

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