Hamas calls for peace talks after arrests
GAZA/MOSCOWGaza’s Hamas prime minister on Jan. 20 called on Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas to end all dialogue with Israel after troops arrested parliamentary speaker Aziz Dweik.
In a speech during the weekly Friday prayers, Ismail Haniya also urged Abbas to reconvene the long-dormant Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), or parliament, whose activities have been frozen for nearly five years.
Israeli soldiers on Jan. 19 arrested senior Hamas official Aziz Dweik, speaker of the Palestinian parliament and a Hamas member, on suspicion of involvement with terrorist groups, and detained another lawmaker of the group from Bethlehem, Khaled Tafish. Hamas said Dweik was taken into custody at a checkpoint near the city of Ramallah. “The response to the arrest of Dr Aziz Dweik should be to end these failed and absurd negotiations,” said Haniya, referring to a round of informal Israeli-Palestinian talks in Jordan aimed at finding ways to jump-start the stalled peace process. “No Palestinian should shake the hand of his enemy or that of the occupier who arrests symbols of legitimacy and parliamentarians,” he said.