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Haniyeh refuses to link Gaza reconstruction to disarming the resistance

Ismail Haniyeh, vice president of the political bureau of the Palestinian Islamic movement Hamas, said he refuses to link the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip with disarming the Palestinian resistance, the Anadolu news agency reported.

Speaking during a visit to areas destroyed during Israel's war on the enclave, Haniyeh said: "The Palestinian resistance weapons are sacred and we will not give up on our arms and we will reconstruct the Gaza Strip with the people's support who will not compromise our arms in exchange for reconstructing their homes. We will rebuild what was destroyed by the Israeli occupation."

Haniyeh stressed that the Palestinian people and their sacrifices "have defeated the Israeli army", pointing out that the resistance's operations against the Israeli army formed a turning point in the history of the Palestinian people.

He said: "Here. from under the rubble I announce victory despite the destruction, the village of Khuza'a is a witness to our victory and a witness to Israel's destruction and terrorism. It is a witness to the steadfastness, manhood, fortitude and magnanimity of our people and to the Israeli army's execution of unarmed civilians."

The Israeli army entered the town of Khuza'a, east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, on July 24 killing dozens of Palestinians and destroying most of the towns' homes and mosques.

The Palestinian and Israel sides reached a comprehensive ceasefire agreement on August 26 under Egyptian auspices, ending the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip which led to the killing of 2,153 Palestinians, and injuring of more than 11,000 others as well as the destruction of 9,000 houses completely and to the partial destruction of 8,000 homes.

The agreement stipulates to open the border crossings between the Gaza Strip and Israel and allow entry of humanitarian and relief aid and reconstruction material and the expansion of the fishing area to six miles area.

The two sides are scheduled to resume their indirect talks within a month.

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