World Bulletin/News Desk
Hamas, the movement ruling the Gaza Strip, slammed on Monday Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, the head of rival Fatah, for agreeing to return to the negotiating table with Israel.
Restarting direct negotiations with Israel under US sponsorship is "a unilateral, outlying step that doesn't express the Palestinian people's stance," Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesman, told Anadolu Agency.
He insisted that the negotiations "have great dangers on the Palestinian cause and they only benefit Israel."
Palestinian and Israeli negotiating teams will meet Monday and Tuesday in Washington for the first time since the negotiations broke down in 2010.
The meeting was the result of six Middle East trips and shuttle diplomacy by US Secretary of State John Kerry.
The Palestinians are going to Washington without a clear Israeli commitment to freeze the building of Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem, which the Palestinians want as a future capital.
Instead, Israel would be applying partial moratorium on construction in certain settlements that don’t include expansion of major settlement blocs in the West Bank.
Israel would also release 104 Palestinian prisoners who have been in jail since before the 1993 Oslo peace deal between the two sides, but their release would be subject to progress made on the final-status negotiations.
Supporters of firebrand Shia cleric demand government of ‘technocrats’ untainted by corruption, sectarianism
'Two car bombs went off in town. The first one was at around midday near a bus station in the city centre,' police says
Order comes day after supporters of Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr stormed Baghdad’s Green Zone and temporarily occupied parliament building
Military claims its forces pre-empted planned attack on army base in Borno State
US presidential candidates were butt of Obama's jokes at White House Correspondents' Dinner
Leader of Crimean Tatars slams Russian 'aggression', urges expansion of Western sanctions
Rapid restoration of order is in interest of Iraqi people, foreign policy chief says
'No one has any business trading in ivory,' Kenyan president says
The banning of the Palestinian flag at the Eurovision contest has sparked outrage with the PLO demanding an apology from the contest organisers
A military plane has crashed in Sudan killing all crew on board
Russia's military exercises near the Baltics has made NATO nervous, forcing the deployment of 4,000 troops to the region
After threatening Sweden, Russia has warned Finland that it would risk a serious crisis if it joins the NATO circle
Hundreds of supporters of Shi'ite Muslim cleric Moqtada al-Sadr stormed Baghdad's Green Zone on Saturday and entered the parliament building
With two soldiers killed in Ukraine in fresh fighting, tension has risen with NATO feeling the need for a Cold War-style hotlines with Moscow to avoid clashes
A satellite phone call to an Italian cargo ship resulted in the rescue of 26 refugees
A UN expert has called on the government of El Salvador to develop and implement a wide range of initiatives to protect the victims of modern forms of slavery