Hamas stepped up their verbal attacks on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday ahead of a US-hosted Mideast conference, saying his policies had failed and undermined prospects for Palestinian statehood and unity.
Hamas and other militant groups have been holding a series of protests against the conference, underscoring the difficulties Abbas faces at home as he tries to make peace with Israel.
Hamas' criticism of Abbas has grown increasingly heated - and personal - in recent days. Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said Monday that Abbas, widely known as Abu Mazen, promoted a "failed and dangerous" policy undermining Palestinian unity.
Signing document in Gaza (Photo: Reuters)
"The Palestinian people's history has not seen a worst era than that of Abu Mazen as president," he said. Ismail Haniyeh, prime minister of Gaza's Hamas government, was among a series of Hamas leaders to sign a document Monday stating that Abbas has no right to make concessions in peace talks.
"The people believe that this conference is fruitless and that any recommendations or commitments made in the conference that harm our rights will not be binding for our people," Haniyeh said. "It will be binding only for those who sign it."
'Jihad will bring victory'
The pledge rejected any compromise with Israel on core issues at the heart of the conflict, including the status of disputed Jerusalem and the fate of millions of Palestinian refugees who lost properties as a result of Israel's establishment in 1948.
In Gaza City, Some 2,000 activists from Hamas, Islamic Jihad and smaller groups also opposed to Israel's existence participated in a conference Monday against the US summit.
"We believe that with patience, we will change the rules of the game," said Mohammed al-Hindi, an Islamic Jihad leader. "Our jihad and sacrifice will bring us the great victory we are looking for."