BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Persian Pashto Turkish French
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Middle East  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Thursday, 15 August, 2002, 16:58 GMT 17:58 UK
Hamas pulls out of Palestinian talks
Israeli soldier in the West Bank
Israel has maintained its pressure on Hamas
Secret talks between Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Authority and the militant group Hamas on ending attacks on Israeli civilians have broken down.

Nabil Shaath, a minister in Mr Arafat's government, blamed Hamas for the failure of the talks in Gaza, accusing it of going back on an agreement to form a united Palestinian front.


The bilateral dialogue on halting operations against civilians has stopped

Nabil Shaath
Palestinian cabinet minister

"Hamas retracted the document which it had been a major contributor in drafting," he told Palestinian radio.

Mr Shaath said that military operations by Israel could not justify operations against civilians, but stressed that this did not affect "legitimate resistance" within the Palestinian territories.

"No-one calls for ending the intifada or resistance to the occupation of our occupied Palestinian land," he said.

"We only speak about attacking Israeli civilians in operations inside the Green Line [Israel] by Hamas and other factions."

Attacks on Hamas

The veteran Palestinian Authority minister acknowledged that recent Israeli attacks on Hamas targets had hardened the group's stance but he insisted that they were not justification for attacking civilians.
Hamas militant
Hamas wants to continue attacks in Israel

In the latest attack, Israeli forces killed the Hamas military leader in Jenin after trapping him in a West Bank village on Wednesday.

A Hamas spokesman promised to avenge Nasser Jarrar's death.

The BBC's Barbara Plett reports from Jerusalem that the talks in Gaza were an attempt to square the circle.

Throughout the intifada, she says, the deeply divided Palestinian factions have been unable to unite around one policy and it is a formidable challenge to forge a consensus which takes in everyone from the secular leftists to the Islamists.


Key stories

Profiles

FACTFILE

TALKING POINT

AUDIO VIDEO
See also:

03 Dec 01 | profiles
12 Aug 02 | Middle East
15 Aug 02 | Middle East
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Middle East stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Middle East stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes