Haniyeh: Hamas Will Continue to Seek Unity

Senior Hamas member Ismail Haniyeh once again seeks to calm tensions with the rival Fatah movement.

Elad Benari ,

Hamas head Ismail Haniyeh
Hamas head Ismail Haniyeh
Flash 90

The deputy chief of the Hamas politburo, Ismail Haniyeh, said on Sunday that his movement would continue to seek national unity and political partnership, the Ma’an news agency reported.

Speaking at a news conference marking 11 years since the death of Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmad Yasin, who was eliminated by Israel, Haniyeh urged "all Palestinian people to achieve real reconciliation and put into effect the agreements reached in Doha, Cairo and al-Shati refugee camp in Gaza."

He explained that the partnership with Fatah should apply to the political decision-making process, to management and to the Palestinian Arab national program.

In his speech, he also highlighted that Hamas was still interested in "openness to our Arab and Islamic surroundings" and urged the Arab world to embrace the question of “Palestine”, Jerusalem, Palestinian refugees and Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails.

Hamas, he reiterated, is not involved in any battles with its Arab brothers and never interferes in the internal affairs of others. "Resistance is practiced on the land of Palestine and we are interested in balanced relations with all countries," he said, according to Ma’an.

The division between Hamas and Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah movement has been going on since 2007, when Hamas violently took over Gaza.

The two sides last year signed a reconciliation agreement that led to the formation of a unity government, but that union has been slowly crumbling, as  the PA has continuously arrested members of Hamas in the PA-assigned areas of Judea and Samaria and the attempt has been rocked by tensions, most notably Hamas's attempt to stage a violent coup in Judea and Samaria against the Palestinian Authority.

Despite the ongoing tensions, Haniyeh called last week for another reconciliation following the results of the elections in Israel, in which the nationalist camp won a landslide victory.

The very next day, however, Hamas politburo member Mahmoud al-Zahar said that the “resistance” as manifested in Gaza would "reach the West Bank in spite of Israel and its allies," in reference to the Fatah-led PA.



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