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Haniyeh threatens religious war for Jerusalem

March 17, 2010 9:53 A.M. (Updated: March 18, 2010 11:02 A.M.)
Gaza – Ma'an – Ismail Haniyeh, prime minister of the Gaza-based government, threatened Tuesday that a religious war will enflame Israel, calling for an Arab-Palestinian campaign to stand with Jerusalem.

Speaking at a conference organized by his government in Gaza City, Haniyeh said that "what is happening now exposes the reality of Jerusalem's future and the Jews' plans."

"Don’t be afraid of a religious or non-religious war, because Jerusalem will always remain Islamic," he added, calling on the American administration to stop Israel's "blind" policies.

He added that the Americans' relations with Israel were being tested over disagreements about settlements in occupied East Jerusalem, a few of which were announced during a vice presidential visit last week.

Haniyeh said his government would follow up on all developments regarding Jerusalem and "Israeli Judaization."

He also condemned the Palestinian Authority for preventing efforts to "defend their lands and holy sites."

Meanwhile, Israel's Foreign Ministry denounced what it termed recent anti-Semitic remarks by Hamas officials.

"Israel condemns with disgust the recent contemptuous, anti-Semitic remarks of senior Hamas officials, aimed at inflaming emotions in the region," the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement, which did not point to any specific comments.

"These tenebrous, ignorant and venomous remarks disseminated by the Hamas terror organization against Jews and Judaism, once again emphasize that Hamas is not only a violent, murderous terror organization, which has caused grief and sorrow to all nations in the region, but is also an active anti-Semitic organization whose foundation documents refer to Jews as animals and advocate the murder of Jews.

"Israel calls on intellectuals of all religions and beliefs to resolutely condemn these declarations of incitement and animosity made by the senior officials of this anti-Semitic terrorist organization against Jews and non-Jews alike," the statement added.
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