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Hamas: Al-Aqsa Intifada revealed ‘futility’ of peace talks

A Palestinian child throws stones at an Israeli Defence Force's tank, much like the iconic image of Faris Odeh from October 2000, during the First Intifada [Musa Al-Shaer / AFP]
A Palestinian child throws stones at an Israeli Defence Force's tank, much like the iconic image of Faris Odeh from October 2000, during the second Intifada [Musa Al-Shaer / AFP]

Hamas on Friday said the Al-Aqsa Intifada, which lasted from 2000 to 2005, had revealed the “futility” of pursuing peace talks with Israel, Anadolu Agency reports.

In September 2000, a visit to Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque compound by controversial Israeli politician Ariel Sharon sparked what later became known as the “Al-Aqsa Intifada”, a popular uprising in which more than 4,000 Palestinians were killed.

In a statement issued to mark the 18th anniversary of the outbreak of the uprising, Hamas stressed its “right to resist the Israeli occupation”, noting that “all laws and norms give a people under occupation the right to resist their occupiers”.

The Al-Aqsa Intifada revealed the futility of peace negotiations, as the occupation only understands the language of force and resistance

the statement read.

Hamas also stressed its rejection of the so-called “Deal of the Century”, a backchannel US Mideast peace plan.

“Hamas reiterates its rejection of the ‘Deal of the Century’ or any regional peace plan that impinges on the rights — legal or national — of the Palestinian people,” the statement read.

On This Day: The Jerusalem Intifada 

For the last several months, top officials from the US administration have been speaking to leaders in the region with a view to hammering out a landmark Middle East peace deal.

Although details remain vague, it is believed that the plan includes several clauses favoring Israel, such as leaving East Jerusalem — and most Jewish-only West Bank settlements — in Israel’s hands.

Hamas also blasted Trump’s decision last year to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

“The Palestinian people do not recognize Trump’s decision [to relocate the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem] and totally reject any change to Jerusalem’s historical or legal status,” the statement read.

Jerusalem remains at the heart of the Middle East conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem — occupied by Israel since 1967 — might eventually serve as the capital of an independent Palestinian state.

Hamas also blasted the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority (PA), accusing it of “protecting the [Israeli] occupation”.

“The PA must stop protecting the occupation and side with the Palestinian people, who prefer freedom, dignity and resistance,” the movement asserted.

READ: Remembering the Arafat-Rabin handshake 

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