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Haniyyah rejects Arab land exchange initiative during Friday address

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Gaza's Prime Minister, Ismail Haniyya, today performed the Friday prayers at the Abbas Mosque in Gaza City. Prayers were attended by a number of Arab delegations including a solidarity delegation from Tunisia, a delegation from the Egyptian Shura Council, a delegation from Turkey and the European Hope Convoy.

Haniyyah said that following the imposition of the blockade on the Gaza Strip, the first and second Gaza wars in 2008 and 2012 respectively, the Sector had received hundreds of convoys and delegations as well as thousands of supporters from the Arab and Western world confirming the importance of the Palestine Cause in hearts of the free people of the world.


The Prime Minister also dealt with emerging political issues including the Arab initiative for the exchange of land. He finally confirmed the complete rejection of this suggestion saying, "to those who speak of exchanges and trade-offs, we say to them that Palestine is not real estate to sold, traded or exchanged. It is historic border, a fixed territory and a unified sanctity. Refugees have rights the right to return to their homeland or their lands that they left behind. The strategy of negotiations and concessions is absurd and leads us to nothing." He said.

He highlighted that the Palestinian territories are Islamic endowment lands, and no one has the right to either dispose of or abandon as they please, and this initiative carries risks for those living in lands occupied in 1967 and 1948 as well as to Palestinians in the Diaspora.

Haniyyah described the Israeli response as increasingly intransigent toward all these Arab concessions as well as toward the route negotiations which bring nothing to the Palestinians.

Haniyyah also said, "We need to draw up a strategy to preserve the first principles and national aims in both their strategic and provisional dimensions."

MEMO Photographer: Mohammed Asad

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