Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, said on Monday that he strongly apposes the participation of Hamas movement in the January 25 Palestinian legislative elections, and threatened that Israel will not hold talks with the P.A, and will not ease the restrictions if Hamas participates.
Sharon told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that Israel will not hold joint meetings with the Palestinian and would make it difficult for Hamas candidates to campaign freely in the Palestinian territories.
Also, Sharon threatened that there will be no lifting of military restrictions in the territories during the elections campaign if Hamas is allowed to participate.
“We will continue our policies against Hamas, we will not allow them to participate”, Sharon said, “But, we do not intend to disrupt the Palestinian elections”.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority demanded Israel to lift the checkpoints which are spread all over the West Bank, in order to allow the candidates to campaign without restrictions, and to allow the voters to travel to rallies and reach voting centers without obstacles and difficulties.
Sharon also said that Israel will not hold talks with Syria on the evacuation of the occupied Golan Heights.
Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman, Yuval Steinitz, quoted Sharon saying that he does not intend to hold talks with Syria.
“I do not intend to negotiate with Syria, I do not intend to withdraw from the Golan Heights”, Steinitz, quoted Sharon said.
Israeli online daily Haaretz reported that the Knesset panel also discussed the UN commission’s efforts to question Syrian officials in connection with the assassination of Rafiq Hariri, the former Lebanese Prime Minister.
Steinitz said that Israel should not extend its hand to Syria “while its leaders are isolated internationally”.