Hamas leader: Violence is our weapon

Ahead of his group joining the PLO, Ismail Haniyeh reiterates that "the Palestinian resistance against Israel will not stop."

Dalit Halevi ,

Ismail Haniyeh
Ismail Haniyeh
Flash 90

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said on Monday that "the violent resistance is the best way to end the Israeli occupation, establish a Palestinian state and release the heroic prisoners held in Israeli prisons."

Speaking at an Islamic conference, Haniyeh stressed that "the resistance continues and we cannot give in to change, blackmail or pressure by any factor, and regardless of the magnitude of the pressure, the resistance is our weapon until liberation."

"We must agree on a balanced strategy based on the unity of the Palestinian people and its adherence to the basic principles, and the fight is the strategic path from which there is no retreat," he added.

Haniyeh’s comments follow Hamas’ recent agreement to elections for Palestinian representative institutions, that will take place over the next few months.

Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Friday issued a decree ordering general elections in PA-assigned territories.

The decree states that legislative elections will take place on May 22. A “presidential” election will take place on July 31. It sets a deadline of August 31 for establishing the Palestinian National Council.

Hamas has an interest in joining the PLO in order to take over the organization from within, thus gaining the exclusive representation of the Palestinian people in the international arena.

Hamas is also interested in changing the PLO's strategy from supporting a political process to a course of fighting Israel.