Hamas rejects the regional peace initiative promoted by the United States and Israel, the Islamic movement's Prime Minister, Ismail Haniyeh, said in a speech to worshippers in Gaza City Friday.
The Hamas leader characterized the initiative as "a poisoned peace plan promoted by the US and Israel along with some Arab states and the Palestinians." The proposal constitutes a "death wish" for the Palestinians, he said.
Haniyeh, who was quoted by Palestinian news agency Ma'an, added that Hamas will never accept the "half-state notion" proposed by Israel.
Palestinians will waste all the work they have done so far in a bid to regain their rights should they accept the proposal, he said.
Turning his attention to tensions between Hamas and radical factions loyal to al-Qaeda, Haniyeh cynically said that "there are no such groups in the Gaza Strip," adding that "Gaza is crowded as it is, and we don't need more people."
Meanwhile, a Hamas delegation headed by Mahmoud al-Zahar returned to Gaza from Cairo. The delegation returned with an Egyptian official who will be engaging in talks with Hamas leaders in a bid to facilitate intra-Palestinian reconciliation.