Brushing aside every assurance given to Israel and the Bush Administration, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday invited the Hamas terrorist organization to join him in reconciliation talks.
“The split that happened as a result of Hamas's coup [in Gaza] is temporary and will be removed,” Abbas told reporters in Ramallah. “The Palestinian people are opposed to this separation because we want a united and independent Palestinian state.”
Abbas urged Hamas to “return to national unity.”
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert responded by releasing a statement warning that the peace process will come to a screeching halt if Abbas allows Hamas back into his internationally-recognized government.
Abbas and his appointed prime minister, Salaam Fayad, have spent the past week assuring both Israeli and US leaders that Hamas will never again play a role in Palestinian government or have influence over the peace process.