World Bulletin / News Desk
Palestinian group Hamas has rejected a French initiative aimed at resuming peace talks between the Palestinians and Israel.
In January, then-French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius unveiled plans to hold an international conference aimed at ending the perennial Israeli-Palestinian conflict with a "two-state solution".
At the time, Fabius said that if the conference ended in failure France would unilaterally recognize an independent state of Palestine.
In a Wednesday statement, however, Hamas -- the de facto ruler of the blockaded Gaza Strip -- described the French initiative as "harmful to the Palestinian people and the Palestinian national cause".
Hamas said the French proposal endangered the Palestinian right to Jerusalem and the right of Palestinian refugees to eventually return to their ancestral homes.
On Tuesday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said his Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority was holding meetings with a view to eventually holding an "international peace conference" within the context of the French initiative.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, for his part, has described the French initiative as "counterproductive", saying it gives the Palestinians no incentive to compromise.
U.S.-sponsored peace negotiations between the Palestinians and Israel collapsed in mid-2014.Last Mod: 02 Mart 2016, 16:29