RAMALLAH, May 15 (JMCC) - Gaza Prime Minister and Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh
told worshipers early Sunday that Palestinians have great hope of bringing to an end the Zionist project in Palestine.
His speech came on the day that Palestinians remember the loss of their land in 1948 when Israel
was created and the dispossession of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees
The Associated Press interpreted his remarks
as calling for the destruction of Israel at a time when Hamas is seeking to join in the Palestinian Authority that governs in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Haniyeh launched the nakba commemorations with a dawn sermon at Gaza City’s al-Omari Mosque.
He said Palestinians have the right to resist Israeli occupation and will one day return to property they lost in 1948. “To achieve our goals in the liberation of our occupied land, we should have one leadership,” Haniyeh said, praising the recent unity deal.
As part of the that agreement, Hamas and Abbas’ Fatah movement are to share power in a transitional government until elections are held next year. The U.S. and Europe consider Hamas a terrorist group and have said they will only deal with it if it renounces violence, recognizes Israel and honors previous peace commitments made by the Palestinians.
Haniyeh reiterated Sunday that his movement would not recognize Israel at the outset.