Prominent Hamas leader, Mahmoud al-Zahar, has said that his movement strongly opposes the Palestinian Authority's return to negotiations, describing the move as "absurd."
In a press conference in Gaza, Al-Zahar said, "We renew our opposition to the absurd negotiations and we consider it no more than an attempt to beautify Israel and its image before the international community".
He criticised the step, which he considered to be a substitute for a lawsuit against Israel before the international courts for war crimes.
Al-Zahar added, "Abu Mazen (the president of the Palestinian Authority) and his negotiating team have no authority or legitimacy and cannot give away any centimetre of the Palestinians soil or any of their rights; full land, full state and a right to return."
He hailed the release of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails, but said, "We insist that the right way to free prisoners is based on sacrifices not on concessions of Palestinian principles, rights and dignity."
He called on Arab and Islamic countries to withdraw the belief they have in the peace negotiation process and also called for all Palestinians, everywhere, to take to the streets in order to oppose, what he called a "concession of the blood of martyrs."
The upcoming round of peace talks between Israeli and the Palestinian negotiators is planned to take place tomorrow.
The Israelis, meanwhile, have announced bids to build over than 2000 new Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, but Palestinian negotiators remain optimistic about the resumption of the peace discussions.
The US Secretary of State, John Kerry, who has been involved in a marathon effort to revive the peace talks, said that announcement of more bids for new settlements was expected.