Haniya: Palestine belongs to Palestinians

In a comprehensive speech marking the passage of 24 years since the establishment of the Palestinian Islamist liberation movement, Hamas, the elected Prime Minister of the Gaza-based Palestinian government Ismael Haniya vowed to keep up the struggle against the apartheid state of israel until the liberation of Palestine.

Speaking before hundreds of thousands of Gazans, Haniya said armed resistance was the only strategic choice for the liberation of Palestine.

Paying tribute to the founder of Hamas, Sheikh Ahmed Yasin, and Hasan el Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood organization in Egypt, Haniya said Hamas was a main component of the Palestinian people.

“Hamas can not be defeated, marginalized, bypassed or sidelined.”

Hamas is considered a legitimate daughter of the Muslim Brotherhood, the party that has won a plurality amounting to a majority in the ongoing Egyptian elections, the freest and most representatives ever.

Yasin was murdered by the israeli army in 2004 shortly after he performed dawn prayer at a mosque not far from his home in central Gaza.

Haniya said the Hamas factor was not merely a variable but rather a constant, adding that the triumph of Hamas was not a passing summer cloud which could be undone by new elections or additional conspiracies.

He added that Hamas had experienced agonizing years, including aggression, war, siege and a lot of plots by brother and foe alike.

“But Hamas has remained a hard number and honest guardian of Palestinian rights and constants.”

The Islamist prime minister said Hamas didn’t accept the principle of land sweep and compromises regarding the refugees.

He added that despite the monumental odds and challenges facing the movement, Hamas didn’t give up or give in on its main principles.

“Hamas is still at the center of the square of principles. It won’t abandon them.”

Haniya pointed out that Hamas, despite the vast imbalance of power with israel, was able to “liberate our brave prisoners and captives from the clutches of the enemy.”

Speaking on the subject of national unity, Haniya said Hamas was doing its utmost to rebuild national unity, especially with Fatah.

“I say national unity is a paramount task, I say to our brothers in Ramallah you must liberate the Palestinian will from external pressures that impede national reconciliation.”

He added that national reconciliation must be based on a national program that protects and preserves our constants.

As to elections, Haniya said guarantees must be given in order to ensure the conduct of free and transparent elections.

Vowing that Hamas will never ever recognize israel’s legitimacy, Haniya called for the establishment of the ” Jerusalem’s army” in every Arab and Islamic capital.

He praised the Arab revolutions, saying that Hamas, through its steadfastness and resilience inspired the Arab masses to rise up against their tyrants and despots.

He said Arab revolutions would have to move from their particular domestic issues to the central Arab issue, the Palestinian issue.

He saluted Egypt, saying the Gaza security was an Egyptian security and vice versa.

The huge multitude attending Hamas’s celebration shows that the popularity of the movement was far from dwindling as alleged by opinion polls administered in the West Bank mainly by pro-Fatah bodies.

The Arab Spring, which seems to have brought Islamist political parties to fore in countries such as Tunsia, Libya, and Egypt, has boosted the Islamists’ morale and made them more hopeful about the future than ever before.

Many Palestinian Islamists hope that with their ideological brothers in the lead, if not leadership, israel would face a new Arab world that is more sympathetic with the Palestinians.

Some Palestinian leaders, Islamists and otherwise, hope that an Islamist-led Egyptian government would make Egyptian commitment to the Egyptian-israeli peace treaty conditional on the way israel treats the Palestinians.

Over the years, israel committed every conceivable atrocity and act of persecution and humiliation against the virtually vanquished and helpless Palestinians without drawing any meaningful reaction from Arab capitals, including Cairo .

Some Egyptian politicians who are affiliated with the Islamist trend have been quoted as saying that the Camp David peace treaty with israel would have to be renegotiated.

Such statements are viewed as anathema in zionist israel.

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