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Haniyeh slams Abbas, Peres meeting as 'normalization'

May 27, 2013 5:41 P.M. (Updated: May 29, 2013 9:42 A.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh on Monday said President Abbas' recent meeting with Israeli president Shimon Peres at the World Economic Forum was "normalization."

"We do not count much on such meetings which are aspects of normalization and attempt to bring into life a dead body called negotiations," Haniyeh said while hosting a Moroccan delegation in Gaza City.

The Hamas premier also criticized coordination between the Palestinian Authority and Israeli security forces.

"It is regrettable to talk proudly about security cooperation between the Palestinian people and their occupiers. This is bizarre and reverse terminology," he said.

He was commenting on remarks by Abbas that 96 Israeli soldiers who mistakenly entered the West Bank in 2012 were returned to Israel.

"We should treat the Israeli occupation as a major enemy of the Palestinian people, and not as a friend," Haniyeh said.

"I believe the United States has nothing to offer to the Palestinian people, and Israel does not even consider offering the least of the Palestinian people's rights. Thus, we have only one strategy, resistance and insistence on our inalienable rights."

The World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa convened from May 24-26 in Jordan, and brought together government, industry, media, civil society and youth officials to discuss advancing conditions for economic growth.

Hundreds of Israeli businessmen and politicians joined the final session of the World Economic Forum.
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