Portuguese / Spanish / English

Middle East Near You

Haniyeh: Hamas will not trade arms for Gaza reconstruction

A senior member of Hamas's political bureau said on Saturday that his movement would not trade its arms for the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip.

Ismail Haniyeh, the deputy chief of the bureau, also called on Egypt to put pressure on Israel to honour its commitments to the terms of the Gaza cease-fire deal that was signed in Cairo on August 26.

"Hamas would not exchange its arms for the reconstruction of Gaza," Haniyeh told the media. "The reconstruction of the Strip is as legitimate as Hamas' weapons," he added, noting that his movement would not accept to be "politically blackmailed."

Some United Nations diplomats had earlier said that efforts were being made to usher in a Security Council resolution that makes a new war between Israel and Gaza factions not possible in the future.

The 51-day war, which came to an end on August 26, had left 2,152 Gazans dead and more than 11,000 others injured. Israeli bombardments had also left thousands of Gaza's homes in ruins as well.

During his meeting with the media, Haniyeh also insisted that his movement would not conduct direct negotiations with Israel, calling for a reconsideration of the negotiation strategy with the self-proclaimed Jewish state in general.

"We reject direct negotiations with Israel," Haniyeh said. "In principle, however, we are not against any political moves based on the national accord document that was signed by all Palestinian factions," he added.

Palestinian factions, including the two main factions Hamas and Fatah, signed a reconciliation deal in April, putting an end to divisions that marred relations between the Gaza Strip and the occupied West Bank since 2007.

The deal opened the door for the creation of a national unity government in both territories.

IsraelMiddle EastNewsPalestine
Show Comments
Order your copy of our latest book - Engaging the World: The Making of Hamas's Foreign Policy - Palestine
Show Comments