Hamas’ Prime Minister in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, reiterated on Saturday that his organization will never recognize Israel and will never give up on Jerusalem, Channel 10 News reported.
Haniyeh made the comments during talks in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, where he several days ago met President Omar al-Bashir. The visit to Sudan is part of Haniyeh’s first official regional tour since Hamas seized power in Gaza in 2007.
He also called for the establishment of a “Jerusalem Army,” an army of Arab nations who will conquer Jerusalem from the Jews, the report said.
Haniyeh’s remarks were reportedly made in a forum entitled “The Jerusalem Forum” being held in Khartoum. Channel 10 reported that during the discussions, Haniyeh’s men met with senior members of the extremist Muslim Brotherhood movement. According to the report, the purpose of the meetings was to look into the possibility of having Hamas join the Muslim Brotherhood.
While Haniyeh’s comments are consistent with ones he recently made during Hamas’ 24th anniversary celebration, where he said Hamas’ long-term strategic goal is to eliminate all of Israel, they are not consistent with comments made by other Hamas officials in the past week.
Hamas’ politburo chief, Khaled Mashaal, said last week that for the time being Hamas intends to focus on popular protests in the spirit of the Arab Spring, rather than armed resistance against Israel.
Mashaal’s remarks came following reconciliation talks between Fatah and Hamas in Cairo last week, which resulted in an announcement that Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and other terror factions would be joining the PLO. Hamas’ co-founder Mahmoud al-Zahar later confirmed Mashaal’s remarks.