Palestinian Prime Minister-designate Ismail Haniyeh said the Palestinian government was opposed to all temporary solutions regarding Palestinian borders.
“We support a Palestinian state based on the borders of 1967 with its capital in Jerusalem,” Haniyeh told the Palestinian Legislative Council in Ramallah Monday.
He also stated that "the Palestinian government will show responsibility regarding agreements signed by the PLO, and will take into consideration the Palestinian people's interests."
Haniyeh opened his speech with a verse from the Koran, and greeted all the shahids (martyrs), "and most of all the shahid Arafat and the shahid Sheikh Yassin."
The Hamas leader said in the Council's meeting that he would have preferred to hold the meeting in Jerusalem.
According to Haniyeh, the fact the Council did not assemble in Jerusalem "proves the cruelty of the occupier that continues its aggression against the Palestinian people, and continues to incite against its elected government."
Referring to the Israeli army's raid on the Jericho prison about two weeks ago, Haniyeh condemned the operation which he defined as "the abduction of the secretary-general of the Popular Front, Ahmed Saadat." "This proves that the occupation does not respect signed agreements," he stated.
'We'll release the Palestinian prisoners'
Israel has escalated its aggression against the Palestinians, Haniyeh charged, in a bid to punish them for the alleged mistake they made when electing Hamas. "This takes place before the eyes of the world. But we say, the Palestinian people should not be punished for its decision in a democratic elections. Those who think economic pressure will cause the Palestinian government to give in is mistaken, our people will continue to be determined," he stated.
Haniyeh also pledged his government will do everything within its powers to guarantee the release from jail of Palestinian and Arab prisoners. "We shall not forget you. Your sacrifice will not be in vain. We will do everything in order for you to walk free and join us in our construction project," he said.
The future prime minister vowed that his government would maintain proper constitutional relations with PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, "for whom we thank for his support in the democratic process and his handling of the elections."
"All the problems and issues that would be raised, will be discussed through dialogue and cooperation between the government and the presidency, in keeping with each institution's independence."
Haniyeh also introduced to the Council his government's priorities:
1. Struggle against the occupation that hurts the Palestinian people and land
2. Guaranteeing the public's security
3. Improving the economic situation
4. Comprehensive reform and a struggle against corruption
5. Reorganizing the Palestinian national and political home
6. Strengthening the Palestinian issue as an Arabic and Muslim issue
7. Improving relations with the international community
'We'll integrate women in society'
In his speech, Haniyeh put emphasis on internal Palestinian affairs, and announced that the new government will do whatever it can to create a stable atmosphere that would encourage investments in the PA. He called on Palestinian, Arab and Muslim investors "to come and invest in the Palestinian homeland." Haniyeh also promised that the Palestinian administration will be founded on the principles of justice, equal opportunity and transparency.
According to the new prime minister, the government will work to ensure payment of salaries on time, and also surprised listeners by stating that "the Palestinian government will make every effort to see the Palestinian woman integrated into the life of the Palestinian society."
Haniyeh also stressed that his cabinet would strengthen the ties with the international community and the European Union. He pledged to any state or element that would contribute to the PA two principles:
1. The money will only be used for the project for which it was donated
2. Any state will be able to monitor the way the money is spent, in order to ensure it is not used by Hamas
Haniyeh also called on the international community to reconsider its position toward the new Palestinian government and to cease threatening sanctions against it. "We call on the international community to recognize the Palestinian people's democratic choice, and we laud and appreciate Russia's stance on the matter. The new government will be willing to engage in dialogue with the Quartet in order to strengthen stability and peace in the region."
IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz referred Monday morning to Haniyeh's statements regarding the need to put an end to the bloodshed between the two people.
"Hamas may pass a resolution recognizing Israel, renouncing terror and agreeing to honor past deals, but everything needs to be treated with caution. We estimated from the beginning Hamas will try to 'sell' statements it does not believe in. let's wait and see what happens in reality." He added.
Hanan Greenberg contributed to the report