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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Hamas, Islamic Jihad Disown Peace Accord

BEIRUT, Lebanon -- Two key Palestinian militant groups criticized Israeli and Palestinian pledges to end bloodshed, but said Tuesday they would wait to see what comes next before deciding whether to continue attacks. A Hamas representative said his group is not bound by the truce.

Their remarks came shortly after Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon declared at the summit an end to all military and militant operations.

"The talk about what the leader of the Palestinian Authority called a cessation of acts of violence is not binding on the resistance, because this is a unilateral stand and was not the outcome of an intra-Palestinian dialogue as has been agreed previously," Osama Hamdan, the Hamas representative in Lebanon, said.

Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesman in the Gaza Strip, also dismissed the summit, saying "It did not achieve anything. From our people's interests, the Israeli position did not change."

Both Hamas men said it was too early to say whether Hamas would resume its activities against Israelis. "We are going to listen to Mr. Abbas when he returns. We are going to sit down with him, and then we are going to declare our position," Abu Zuhri said.

Hamdan said Hamas' decision would depend on "achievement of a substantial change [in Israel's position] to meet Palestinian demands and conditions."

Nafez Azzam, the top Islamic Jihad leader in Gaza, criticized Sharon for failing to explain exactly what he is committing himself to.

"We had mentioned several times before that calm cannot come from one side, and cannot come for free. We will wait for the return of Mr. Abbas, and then we will see," Azzam said.

On arriving with Abbas in Amman, Jordan after the summit, Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia downplayed the Hamas and Islamic Jihad reactions.

"There are good understandings between all the Palestinian groups and factions and leaders. We'll discuss with them now, immediately, the results [of the summit]," Qureia said.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad are responsible for numerous suicide bombings in Israel and refuse to recognize the state of Israel.

Abbas has held talks with them and other militant Palestinian groups in an attempt to convince them to agree to a lasting truce with Israel.

Hamdan said that in order for a truce to succeed, Israel must release Palestinian prisoners and give "a clear commitment ... to halt aggression against the Palestinian people."