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Haniyeh: Hamas will never give up right of return

Feb. 4, 2013 7:24 A.M. (Updated: Feb. 11, 2013 9:20 A.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) – Hamas will never give up the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homeland, Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said Monday.

"Those who abandon the right of return are not part of us. I say that I am from Asqalan, and I will return to my hometown," Haniyeh said at an event to welcome solidarity activists to Gaza.

"We will fight for the return of refugees."

Around 150 activists arrived in Gaza as part of the Miles of Smiles aid convoy, which Haniyeh said was evidence that Israel's blockade had been defeated.

Haniyeh said Israel besieged Gaza to cast the enclave into oblivion, but instead the siege became a bridge, bringing people to the enclave.

The premier listed Hamas' victories since taking control of the Gaza Strip in 2007. "Gaza triumphed in the war Israel waged against it in 2008, then another triumph was made in the prisoner swap deal," he said.

Meanwhile, Miles of Smiles coordinator Issam Yousif said more convoys would travel to Gaza, adding that activists from Bahrain, Algeria, Libya, Jordan, Sudan, Indonisia, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Canada had joined the latest group.

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