Barghouti: Talks Will Fail

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JERUSALEM, Israel - Former Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti told the Reuters news agency that Israeli-Palestinian negotiations would never succeed.

"Betting on negotiations alone was never our [Fatah's] choice," he said. "I have always called for a constructive mix of negotiation, resistance [armed], political, diplomatic and popular action," he said.

Barghouti, serving five consecutive life sentences for murder, conducted the "interview" via written responses passed through his lawyer.

The former head of Fatah's Tanzim militia called on rival Palestinian factions - Fatah and Hamas - to put their differences behind them.

"I do not see that fundamental political differences exist between Fatah and Hamas," Barghouti said. "There is no excuse in the world that prevents national reconciliation, especially in light of the latest developments and the blocked horizon for negotiations," Barghouti wrote, according to Reuters.

"In the shadow of the failure of negotiations and the absence of an Israeli partner for peace, the necessary strategy is first ending the division and restoring national unity," he said.

Hamas, for its part, said on Thursday it will not reconcile with Fatah.

"The reconciliation proposal does not include any program or political strategy that would guarantee national unity," senior Hamas official Mohammad Nasser said.

"The reconciliation was suspended because of Egypt's insistence on Hamas signing despite our reservations," he said, adding that the agreement "was tailored for [Israeli] settlements, Quartet conditions and the so-called Oslo group."

"Nonetheless," Nasser said, "Hamas insists on overcoming the internal division [with Fatah], which serves no one but the enemies of Palestine."

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Source: Ma'an news agency

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