DAMASCUS/RAMALLAH, Sept. 26 — The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) suspended its participation in the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) meetings on Sunday to protest direct peace talks with Israel.
“PFLP refuses to work as a cover for the Palestinian National Authority’s (PNA) policy,” Maher al-Taher, leader of the Damascus- based PFLP, said during a sit-in in support of the Palestinian prisoners in the Israeli jails. The decision of suspending participation in the PLO meetings is a response to the resumption of direct peace talks with Israel, Taher said.
The U.S.-brokered talks started on Sept. 2 are “concessions, especially as the negotiations were imposed as an alternative to the reference of the United Nations and its resolutions,” Khaleda Jarar, a senior PFLP leader, said in a press conference in Ramallah, following a meeting of the PFLP’s Central Committee.
The PFLP is the second largest member of the PLO after the PNA President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah movement.
The peace talks which are not aimed at protecting the Palestinian refugees’ right to return will actually serve the interests of the United States and Israel, Taher said.
On Aug. 20, the Executive Committee of the PLO accepted a U.S. invitation to resume the negotiations though the majority of the committee’s members were against renewing the peace talks without a clear Israeli commitment to freeze Jewish settlement in the West Bank.
“The way in which the decision to go to the talks was taken is considered as an abuse to the PLO and its national Palestinian identity,” Jarar said.
A 10-month moratorium on settlement construction in the West Bank will expire on Sunday, however, Israel is seemingly not going to extend it.