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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Hamas Slams U.S. Peace Talks

GAZA, Gaza Strip -- Vowing to go on fighting the "Zionist enemy," Hamas called Mahmoud Abbas the worst leader in Palestinian history on Monday and said he had no right to make concessions to Israel at the Annapolis peace conference.

Speaking at an "anti-Annapolis" conference in Gaza, leaders of the Islamist group, which seized the enclave from Abbas' forces in June, said the president did not represent the Palestinian people and vowed never to recognize Israel.

"Let the whole world hear us -- we will not cede an inch of Palestine and we will never recognize Israel," Hamas' Gaza leader Ismail Haniyeh told the meeting of about 1,000 people, including representatives from some other Palestinian factions.

Hamas' seizure of control of Gaza, prompted Abbas, whose rival Fatah faction holds sway in the West Bank, to sack Haniyeh as prime minister and open negotiations, with U.S. sponsorship, that could lead to a Palestinian state alongside Israel.

Hamas, shunned by the West for refusing to renounce violence, was not invited to Tuesday's conference in Annapolis.

Hamas said it would hold a second "alternative" conference in Damascus on Tuesday. Its exiled leader Khaled Meshaal is based in the Syrian capital, but Syria blocked previous Hamas efforts to hold a gathering there and is sending its own representative to the U.S.-hosted talks with Israel in Maryland.