One of the leaders of Hamas, the terrorist organization controlling Gaza, vowed today to “liberate Palestine.” Ismail Haniyeh, who is the Deputy Chief of the Hamas Political Bureau, said that weapons of resistance against Israel are “legitimate.”
Despite the fact that Gaza, together with it the plight of the Palestinian people for a state, was physically taken back 20 years during the recent war with Israel, Hamas is apparently remaining steadfast in its bid to “free Palestine.” Haniyeh said that his organization would never disarm even “in exchange for the rehabilitation of the Strip or for anything else.”
As he said during a speech in Gaza, “Until Palestine is liberated, the weapons of the resistance are legitimate. The weapons of the resistance are a red line.”
The Deputy Chief also stressed that Hamas is not interested in direct negotiations with the Jewish State, despite a statement earlier in the week made by Senior Hamas official Mousa Mohammed Abu Marzook, who said the group could be forced to negotiate directly with Israel, something it has never done before.
Nevertheless, another Hamas leader, Khalid Mashaal, took the same position as Haniyeh, stating, “Direct negotiations with the Israeli occupier is not on the agenda of Hamas; if negotiations are necessary they must be indirect.”
Middle East Monitor reported that during his speech to a packed crowd, Haniyeh slammed U.S. foreign policies, claiming that America was biased in favor of Israel, and didn’t wish to show support to an organization which it deems to be terrorist.
Haniyeh said, “We need to develop a national strategy and concentrate our efforts towards bringing the Israeli leadership before an international court.”
So far, Hamas has rejected any formal negotiations with Israel, even though they may have led to results for the group. Previous talks, such as the deal to free captive IDF soldier Gilad Shalit and the ceasefires after rounds of fighting in Gaza before the end of of Operation Protective Edge, were only conducted indirectly through third parties.
Indirect negotiations are set to go ahead soon after informal understandings were drawn up to form an outline on which future talks would be based.