GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories (AFP) – Gaza Islamists said on Wednesday that the Palestinian leadership could no longer speak for its people after leaked reports of its cooperation with Israel.
Hamas and Islamic Jihad officials said after a meeting of several groups that all were agreed that deals made with Israel by president Mahmud Abbas’s western-backed Palestinian Authority and his Fatah movement were invalid.
“The participants declared … that the Fatah authority was not entitled to speak in the name of the Palestinian people and that no agreement it makes with the occupier is binding upon our people,” senior Hamas official Ismail Radwan told AFP.
On Sunday, Al-Jazeera television began releasing what it says are more than 1,600 documents known as “The Palestine Papers,” which have exposed some of the far-reaching concessions Palestinian negotiators have offered Israel during 10 years of secret peace talks.
The leaks also purport to show close security cooperation between the Abbas administration and Israel in a common fight against Hamas, which is Fatah’s bitter rival and is pledged to destroy the Jewish State.
In Wednesday’s Gaza gathering, Islamic militants agreed “on the need to restructure the Palestine Liberation Organisation in a way that makes it relevant to the Palestinian people and to stop negotiations (with Israel),” Khaled al-Batsh, a local Islamic Jihad leader told AFP.
On-off Israeli-Palestinian peace talks collapsed in September over Israel’s settlement policies and Abbas is refusing to renew then until Israel halts building in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.