Hamas Calls Israeli-Palestinian Meeting a 'Farce'

The meeting, which was attended by Jordanian officials and representatives of the Quartet of Middle East peace mediators ended without a major breakthrough.

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The Palestinian group Hamas said on Wednesday that the first face-to-face meeting in 16 months between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators to try to restart stalled peace talks was a "farce" and a "waste of time."

The talks in Jordan on Tuesday "contradict the hopes and aspirations of our people," said Fawzi Barhoom, a spokesman for the Islamist group, which rules the Gaza Strip.

Khaled Meshal and Mahmoud Abbas in Cairo, Egypt, Nov. 24, 2011.Credit: AFP Photo / Hamas

The meeting, which was attended by Jordanian officials and representatives of the Quartet of Middle East peace mediators - the United States, the European Union, Russia and the United Nations - ended without a major breakthrough.

Hamas, which refuses to recognize Israel, opposes Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's peace moves with the Jewish state.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the Islamist movement was "astonished" that, during the meeting, Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat handed the Israelis Palestinian proposals on borders and security, two major sticking points.

Prior to the talks, Hamas called on the Abbas-led Palestinian Authority to shun peace talks with Israel, saying that past negotiations had failed.

Hamas, which won a parliamentary election in 2006, has rejected international demands that it recognize Israel's right to exist, renounce violence and honor past Israeli-Palestinian agreements.



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