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‘Hamas open for relations with all countries regardless of regional differences’

Head of Gaza's political bureau Ismail Haniyeh meets Director of the Egyptian General Intelligence Directorate Khaled Fawzy in Gaza on 3 October 2017 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
Head of Gaza's political bureau Ismail Haniyeh meets Director of the Egyptian General Intelligence Directorate Khaled Fawzy in Gaza on 3 October 2017 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

The head of the Hamas Political Bureau stressed on Wednesday that his movement is interested in relations with all Arab and Islamic countries regardless of regional differences, Quds Press has reported. Ismail Haniyeh made his comments during two conferences in Gaza and, via video link, Beirut.

Haniyeh pointed out that Hamas has “strong” relations with Iran, Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey and Qatar and is seeking to forge “correct” and “strong” relations with Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the Maghrib countries. He stressed that the Palestinian issue must remain distinct from the polarisation and differences among the Arabs. “The Palestinian resistance has accumulated its power and Gaza has become a resistance icon that broke the occupation in three wars,” he added.

At the same time, the former Palestinian Prime Minister called for the formation of a united national strategy able to counter the challenges being faced and return the Palestinian cause to its place on the Arab and Islamic agenda. Haniyeh noted that the cornerstones of his movement’s strategy are resistance, unity, relations and reinforcing the presence of the Palestinian cause on the international stage to achieve the liberation of Palestine.

Any initiative related to the Palestinian cause that concedes the Arab, Islamic and Palestinian rights in Palestine is deemed to fail, he stressed. The senior Hamas official suggested that the Zionist project in Palestine will end sooner or later.

Regarding internal relations, Haniyeh said that Hamas has “opened the door very wide” for national reconciliation, and is ready for more concessions for the sake of unity. He called upon the Palestinian Authority to fulfil its pledges towards the Gaza Strip after his movement had conceded power to Ramallah and insisted on protection for the resistance because it is the “best strategic choice” for the protection of Palestinian rights.

READ: Despite his talk of ‘reconciliation’, Abbas continues to act in Israel’s interests

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