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Haniyeh: Oppose Israel negotiations based on US 'blackmail'

Oct. 20, 2013 3:48 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 22, 2013 2:34 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Prime minister of the Hamas-run government in the Gaza Strip Ismail Haniyeh on Saturday called on Palestinians to oppose any new negotiations with Israel, arguing that they "jeopardize the Palestinian issue and the Palestinian people's rights."

"These negotiations mark the violation of the Palestinian national consensus as negotiations are carried out as a result of US pressure and blackmail," he said, urging Palestinians to protect Jerusalem and never abandon any Palestinian right, especially the right of return of refugees.

Haniyeh made the comments during a speech delivered in Gaza City on the second anniversary of the prisoner swap between Hamas and Israel which saw 1,027 Palestinian prisoners freed in a deal for captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

In order to ensure the protection of Palestinian rights, "negotiations must stop and the Oslo approach must be ignored. Political forces must together find a new national strategy adopting diverse visions and means," he continued.

"To confront any dangers or possible compromises emerging from negotiations," added Haniyeh, "Palestinian factions and dignitaries should get together and build a Palestinian national strategy."

This strategy, Haniyeh said, must include all possible options including armed resistance and popular resistance in addition to political and diplomatic means including academic and diplomatic divestment using all regional and international platforms.

Haniyeh also reiterated that his movement remained committed to reconciliation with the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority on the basis of the agreements reached through Cairo dialogue.

Any regional scenario or plan related to the Gaza Strip which "is not based in the realities and the specific nature of liberation issues in Palestine will fail," said Haniyeh.

It is realistic from a political point of view, added Haniyeh, to point out that disagreements in the Palestinian arena cannot be denied or ignored. Despite that, we should not go on with our disagreements or continue to take things to unknown ends, "especially as some believe they can reproduce the plans taking place in the region in Gaza."

"However, we hereby draw attention to the fact that any scenario that is unrealistic and not taking into account the privacy of the liberation path will fail. Such a scenario can never penetrate the resisting and unbreakable Palestinian arena which will remain tough in the face of occupation and chaos."

Haniyeh asserted that the Hamas movement would continue to extend a hand to an agreement to end the state of disagreement and to restructure the Palestine Liberation Organization on democratic and nationalistic grounds.

This, according to Haniyeh, will create real reconciliation, unite the Palestinian institutions and correct the Palestinian political and national path leading eventually to one, united government in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip once again.

The Hamas PM reiterated that his government would not accept any external intervention in the internal affairs of Arab and Islamic states, and that Hamas will also oppose any hostilities initiated by outside powers against any Arab or Islamic country.

Commenting on media outlets which have argued that Hamas is facing a severe crisis in light of the ongoing changes and troubles in the region, particularly the recent developments in Egypt, Haniyeh responded that these outlets were leading a "hectic" campaign against Hamas that was based on the dissemination of prophecies and illusions, and not facts on the ground.

The campaigns trying to tell that Hamas has lost its allies and political ties, he argued, are "sheer lies and illusions."

Those who disseminate such fabrications wish to see Hamas in such a situation, he continued, "but the truth is completely different, as the movement is still united in its political decisions, views and approach to all issues and events both in Palestine and in the region."

"Hamas doesn't flatter anybody, nor does the movement beg, show regret or apologize about its honorable positions just to please any side. Hamas does not feel it is experiencing a crisis, and so it will not pay any toll so as to end that crisis."

The Gaza Strip has been under a severe economic blockade imposed by the State of Israel since 2007. The blockade was imposed following the victory of Hamas in the 2006 Palestinian elections and the subsequent 2007 clashes between Fatah and Hamas, which left Hamas in control of the Strip and Fatah in control of the West Bank.

The blockade has severely limited the imports and exports of the Gaza Strip and has led to frequent humanitarian crises and hardship for Gazans.
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