In response to the end of Israel's freeze on settlement construction, exiled Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal has asked the Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas to stop peace talks. Earlier, Israel announced publicly that it will resume building housing in the occupied West Bank. "I call on my brothers at the Palestinian Authority, who had stated they would not pursue talks with the enemy (Israel) if it continued settlement construction, to hold to their promise," Meshaal said at a meeting in Damascus.
"To negotiate without a position of strength is absurd," he stressed. "The intentions of the Zionists exposed, Netanyahu will not bring peace to the region", he added
This request by Meshaal comes after he met over the weekedn with senior Fatah official Ahmed Azzam in Damascus to discuss a reconciliation agreement. In a joint-press release statement, Fatah and Hamas both described the meeting as "amicable and brotherly." "We think [the meeting] will bridge the understanding with Fatah and push for reconciliation," Meshaal said Saturday in an interview with CNN Senior International Correspondent Nic Robertson. On Monday he said Hamas was "serious" in his quest for a deal with Fatah.