Haniyeh: Disarming would be a 'betrayal to the cause'

Hamas leader rules out the possibility of disarming, says the goal is "liberation of Palestine".

Elad Benari,

Ismail Haniyeh
Ismail Haniyeh

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh on Tuesday ruled out the possibility that Hamas would disarm, and called on the Palestinian Authority (PA) to its security cooperation with the “Israeli occupation”.

Speaking at the funeral for the terrorists who were killed when Israel destroyed a terror tunnel leading from Gaza into Israel, Haniyeh stressed that the weapons of the “resistance” are the honor of Palestinian Arabs, adding that disarming them would be a “betrayal to the cause”.

His comments were quoted by Hamas's official website.

Haniyeh further said that the resistance, its weapons, capabilities, assets and heritage are red lines that cannot be crossed, adding that the resistance factions in Gaza have one clear strategy and that is the “liberation of Palestine.”

He stressed that the path of the martyrs will remain an enduring legacy for every oppressed Palestinian until they regain their basic rights and live in prosperity and peace without the ruthless “Israeli occupation.”

The Hamas leader also said that Israel is gravely mistaken if it believes that attacking “resistance fighters” during a ceasefire will change the priorities of the resistance.

“Our ever strong unity, resilience, willpower, and hope of a peaceful sovereign life will outlast the atrocities of the Israeli occupation,” said Haniyeh.

Several terrorists were killed when Israel destroyed the terror tunnel on Monday, including a senior member of the Islamic Jihad organization.

The Islamic Jihad warned that the destruction of the network of terror tunnels constituted a "dangerous escalation".

On Monday, Hamas's military wing condemned Israel for the operation and said it believed the destruction of the tunnel was "an attempt by the enemy to impose new rules by committing crimes and attacks against our land, our jihad fighters and our people."

Haniyeh's comments also follow the reconciliation agreement his group recently signed with Fatah.

Despite the agreement, Fatah and Hamas have had disagreements. Fatah leader and PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas has ruled out the presence of militias in Gaza. Hamas, the Islamic Jihad, and other organizations reject this demand.

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