Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, has condemned in very strong terms the statements made by the President Mahmoud Abbas to the Guardian newspaper earlier this week. In an interview with Seumas Milne, President Abbas said that he would accept the resumption of peace negotiations with Israel in exchange for a 3-month freeze on Israeli settlements and pledged not to allow any further armed resistance by Palestinians. According to Hamas, this reflects his "defeated spirit" and his personal opinion, and does not represent the path of the Fatah movement.
In a press release, Hamas went on to say that Abbas no longer represents the Palestinian people and that he has no authority to express their hopes and ambitions. Calling negotiations with Israel "arbitrary", Hamas renewed its opposition to talks that serve only the interests of the United States and Israel, while providing cover for the growth in illegal settlements and the Judaization of Jerusalem. The position taken by President Abbas is regarded by Hamas as a "defeatist view" and an indication that he and his team of negotiators are willing to abandon the legitimate rights of the Palestinians and give in to US and Israeli pressure. To bow down to such pressure at this time is, according to Hamas, to be condemned, especially while the Zionists reject any conciliation talks between the Palestinian factions unless all parties recognise the occupying power and abandon the right to resist the occupation.