Senior Hamas leader in Gaza, Mahmoud aL-Zahar, called Tuesday on the Palestinian side to boycott American President Gorge W. Bush, who will be visiting the region on Wednesday.
aL-Zahar was speaking during a televised interview with the Ramattan News Agency in Gaza, on the side line of a visit to the Orthodox Church.
The Hamas leader announced his movement’s opposition to the visit, asserting that it is merely ‘ an election campaign’ aimed at improving Bush’s administration image in the region, in light of what aL-Zahar says ‘ American terrorist actions’.
aL-Zahar slammed current Palestinian-Israeli peace talks ‘ a waste of time’, predicting that the Palestinian people wont enjoy even the minimum legitimate rights out of such negotiations.
He believed that the negotiations have so far turned to be weird and unproductive, calling on the Palestinian negotiating team to hold them off, return back to what aL-Zahar says ‘ the Palestinian people’ and reform the internal situation, instead.
Hamas has shunned peace talks with Israel until Israel halts attacks on the Palestinian people, including lifting a seven-month-old Gaza siege, removing roadblocks in the West Bank and freezing construction of new settlements on the occupied Palestinian lands.
The Islamist Hamas movement, which has won January2006’s legislative elections, took over the coastal region in June2007, a midst a power struggle with the Fatah party of Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, who favors peace with Israel.