Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh has strongly warned the Arab world against “restoring” ties with Israel, saying all efforts have to be directed at preventing the occupying regime from “infiltrating” the Muslim world.
“The Zionist occupiers are the common enemies of the Muslim world. It is our responsibility to boycott them, expose their crimes, and prevent them from infiltrating the Islamic community,” he told an Islamic unity conference in Tehran Saturday.
“We must work hard to reject and criminalize all plots aimed at restoring ties, be it on political, economic, cultural, academic, or social fronts,” he added.
Haniyeh, who heads Hamas political bureau, was addressing the 32nd International Islamic Unity Conference in the Iranian capital via a video link.
“Tehran is the capital of a land which accompanies and is aligned with the Islamic Ummah, especially the Palestinian nation. This conference will guarantee the steadfastness of the Palestinian nation,” he said.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has called on Muslim nations to unite and stand against the hostile policies of the US and Israel.
His remarks came after visits by Israeli leaders, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to the Persian Gulf and reports of clandestine cooperation between Riyadh and Tel Aviv.
The US is pressing Saudi Arabia and other Arab states to forge relations with Israel after President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem al-Quds as the so-called capital of the occupied territories.
Hamas said Trump cannot forcibly hand Jerusalem al-Quds over to the Israelis in the same way that Lord Arthur Balfour was unable to give them even “a palm’s length” of the Palestinian soil.
The Balfour Declaration was a public statement issued by the UK government during World War I, announcing support for the creation of Israel. The declaration was named after Lord Balfour, the then British foreign secretary who penned the document.
Jerusalem al-Quds “is entirely ours,” Haniyeh said as he pledged that the Palestinian resistance will reject the so-called “deal of the century.”
Haniyeh was referring to a US plan for the Middle East which Trump is yet to unveil, reportedly making a short shrift of Palestinian demands.
The Hamas chief said Muslims have to devise a strategy to confront Israeli plots to Judaize al-Aqsa Mosque.
Israel imposes restrictions on visits by Palestinians to the mosque, while freely allowing Israeli settlers to frequently visit the site under military escort.
Also addressing the conference in Tehran, deputy head of Lebanon’s Hezbollah said al-Quds is the pivotal issue of the Islamic world.
Sheikh Na’eem Qasim said the Palestinians could not be divided, adding they will refuse to give up even an inch of their land.