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Hamas leader: Abbas has no authority to engage in peace talks

Feb. 15, 2014 at 5:46 PM

RAFAH, Gaza, Feb. 15 (UPI) -- President Mahmoud Abbas has no authority to negotiate with Israel and the United States on behalf of the Palestinian people, a Hamas spokesman says.

Sami Abu Zihri, speaking late Friday at a rally in Rafah, Gaza, said any international troops sent to the West Bank or Gaza as part of a settlement would be regarded as occupiers.

He said the current talks "terminate the question of Palestine and what is left of Palestinian rights and principles."

"Nobody has authorized you to speak on behalf of the Palestinian people, or on behalf of Hamas or any other faction," he said, addressing Abbas. "Why don't you tell the truth about what is going on in the secret negotiations? If you are honest, go out to your people and tell the truth and give them details."

Abbas told the New York Times this month he would be happy to have NATO troops guard border crossings between the West Bank and Israel.

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