Home Indian Muslim Palestinian factions criticize Abbas-Olmert meetings after Gaza offensive

Palestinian factions criticize Abbas-Olmert meetings after Gaza offensive

By Xinhua

Gaza : Palestinian factions have criticized recent meetings between President Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah and Israeli leaders on Thursday in the wake of Israeli offensive in Gaza.

Twelve Palestinians were killed in a series of air and ground strikes in the Gaza Strip since Wednesday afternoon, while the army sent troops to the north of the coastal Strip, occupying large parts of Beit Hanoun town before withdrawing in the morning.

“It is illogical that the Palestinian president or any other leader shakes hands with our enemy whose hands stained with Palestinian blood,” said Rabah Mahana, a leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) in Gaza.

Mahana called on Abbas to stop his regular meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and any other Israeli official “because these meetings are read as an acceptance of the Israeli occupation crimes against the Palestinian people.”

Abbas-Olmert meetings come in preparation for the U.S.-sponsored peace conference which is likely to be held in November to revive the peace process between Israel and the Palestinian National Authority (PNA).

The regular meetings between Abbas and Olmert resumed after Abbas fired a Hamas-led coalition government and appointed another West-backed administration.

But Hamas, which seized control of the Gaza Strip and routed pro-Abbas forces there, refused Abbas’ decree to sack it and continued ruling in Gaza while the newly-appointed caretaker government of Prime Minister Salam Fayyad ruled the West Bank.

Meanwhile, the sacked Hamas government slammed the Israeli offensive into Gaza, saying the operations “were disgracing everyone who believes in the peace with the criminals and the murderers.”

“The Israeli threats to invade Gaza have revealed the black fact of all those who hold negotiations with the occupation,” said Mohammed al-Madhoun, an aide to Ismail Haneya, the premier of the sacked Hamas government.

For his part, Haneya also condemned the Israeli attacks in Gaza and urged the Arab nations to boycott November peace conference.

“The conference will fail…. It only aims at pushing Arab countries like Saudi Arabia for free normalization with Israel without discussing the Palestinian rights,” Haneya told reporters.