Mustafa Barghouti, a leading parliamentarian from the Palestinian left-wing, has published an open letter questioning the wisdom of ‘direct talks’ with Israel at this time. On the right of the political spectrum, the Hamas party, elected in 2006 to represent the Palestinian people, has also challenged the decision by rival party Fateh to engage in direct talks with Israel without pre-conditions.Indeed, legislators from across the political spectrum in Palestine have voiced their concern about the decision by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to engage in direct talks with Israel.

According to the legislators, the previous agreement that was made in 1993 needs to be enforced, instead of new talks which they believe will result in negotiating away even more of the Palestinian people’s rights.

Mustafa Barghouthi wrote that these negotiations without preconditions, ‘are more dangerous than the Camp David talks, since they are not based on the cessation of settlement activity, have no clear guidelines and can only lead to a dangerous failure.’

President Abbas was pressured by the US and Israel to engage in the talks with a threat that international aid would be cut off if he did not.

But many Palestinian people believe that Abbas does not represent them, as his term as President expired in January and he refused to hold new elections.

The talks are scheduled to begin in Washington on September 3rd.