The head of the Hamas Political Bureau outlined on Thursday the movement's vision for Palestinian unity, stressing that all the Palestinian factions are essential components of the political leadership.
"We are in need of all the Palestinian factions," explained Ismail Haniyeh during a panel discussion organised by Al-Zaytouna Centre. "All of us have the same view regarding the necessity to rearrange the Palestinian political system, but cancelling the elections caused a real national dilemma and put us back to square one."
Everyone who works for the liberation of Palestine is an important part in the process, he insisted. "The principle of partnership must be reinforced by every faction."
The Palestinian national project, said the former prime minister, is built around "liberation, the right of return and the creation of the Palestinian state on all Palestinian land through comprehensive resistance." He described the 1993 Oslo Accords as "the seed of bitter fruit".
Haniyeh reminded those taking part in the discussion that the people of Palestine are under occupation, so must adopt the strategy of resistance for the liberation of their land. "The [Israeli] occupation is based on it being a Jewish state, annexation, the expulsion of Palestinians and no recognition of any other people in Palestine except Jews."
Criticising the "fruitless negotiations" pursued by the Palestinian Liberation Organisation — of which Hamas is not a member — he blamed this for the lack of progress and ongoing paralysis of the Palestinian leadership.
"Nevertheless, although there are many reasons for our strength, the foremost is the persistence of the Palestinian people who are the reserves of the revolution and resistance."
In conclusion, Haniyeh called for the Palestinian national project to be reconsidered as a "liberation project" and the reformation of the Palestinian leadership to make sure that it represents all Palestinians within and beyond the historic land of Palestine."