Gaza: The Hamas group that controls the Gaza Strip said Monday that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was not authorised to negotiate peace with Israel.
Mahmoud Zahar, a high-ranking Hamas official, told reporters at a press conference here that resumption of the peace talks with Israel "contradicts with the Palestinian national consensus", Xinhua reported.
"Abbas agreed to restart the US-brokered negotiations, ignoring the national consensus of the people and political factions who reject this manner which may blow up the Palestinian cause," Zahar said.
On Wednesday, a second round of direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians will kick off in Jerusalem after nearly three years of stalemate over Israel's continuous settlement activities in the West Bank.
The senior Hamas leader has called on the Arab League not to legalise talks with Israel and to form an "opposition Arab front" standing against making any concession. He also called on ending the Palestinian internal division.
Refusing to recognise Israel, Hamas, which is listed as a global terrorist organisation in many countries, opposes the entire peace process.