Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh collapsed Friday while giving a speech at a Hamas support rally in Gaza. Apparently Haniyeh felt ill due to the Ramadan fast and the oppressive heat. After resting a few minutes, he recovered and resumed his speech.
Opening his speech, Haniyeh addresses the tens of thousands of refugees participating in the rally, saying, “We promise you that you will return to your homes. You will return to Palestine and to Al-Aqsa (in Jerusalem).”
Haniyeh sharply condemned the international community’s economic blockade on the Palestinians. “The American regime is leading this seige to make us surrender and to politically exhaust us, but we are telling you – they won’t wring us out and our fortress won’t fall.
"Any other government in any other place in the world, if they had to withstand what we are facing – sanctions, murder, arrests, and aggression – would have collapsed after one month. Our opponents thought our government would last one or two months, but despite the war the US waged against us, we held fast – because we get our strength from Allah.”
The government was “prepared to establish a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders, but only in exchange for a long term Hudna and not conceding one more foot of the land of historic Palestine,” he said. “The Palestinian government will not give up on one foot of Palestinian land, nor on the right of return and the establishment on a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.”
The Palestinian prime minister declared that his government enjoyed democratic legitimacy, as it was voted in at the ballots. “We didn’t take over our people on horseback, or come in tanks, or by cutting deals with the Americans – we were chosen by the people,” Haniyeh said.
“But we also enjoy the legitimacy of Jihad,” he added. “We were born out of the womb of the Jihad and out of the womb of the resistance.”
Haniyeh complained that from the moment the Hamas government was established, efforts were made to cause it to fail – efforts which some officials within the PA collaborated with, he charged. “There was an economic blockade and a war of diplomatic and media incitement against us, so much so that I was not invited to visit a single country – except Qatar,” he said.
Regarding recent talk of early PA elections, Haniyeh believes it is motivated by a desire to remove Hamas from power. "We will be part of any government that will arise and any government that will arise will be obligated to uphold Palestinian principles, foremost among them, rejection of the legitimacy of the occupation," he declared.
Meanwhile, earlier Friday, Deputy Palestinian Parliament Chairman Ahmed Bahar told Ynet in an interview that Hamas still wanted a unity government, but if such an arrangement failed, “We plan to stay in the government in accordance with the mandate we got
from the people. No one can make us disappear. We will stay – with a coalition or alone. That’s what we were voted to do, and Abbas doesn’t have the authority to dismantle the elected institutions.”
As for recognizing Israel, Bahar said: “We will never recognize it. No Palestinian child will recognize it. We are not making any moves to cooperate with the Knesset. The Knesset is a symbol of the enemy, which pours it poisons onto us and our people every day. How could we talk to them?”