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Photo: AFP
Haniyeh: We are shahids
Photo: AFP
Haniyeh: We're Shahids, not ministers
At mass rally in Gaza marking 19 years since founding of Hamas, Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh states that he and his colleagues chose to sacrifice lives for Allah
Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said Friday that he and his followers chose to be in the Hamas movement to be shahids (martyrs) and sacrifice their lives for Allah and not to be ministers.

 

Haniyeh made the comments at a ceremony in the Gaza Strip, attended by some 100,000 people, marking 19 years since the founding of Hamas.

 

The Palestinian leader called for unity among the Palestinian factions, after days of continually escalating violence in the Strip and the West Bank.

 

“Palestinian blood must be safeguarded; we must unite for the fight to free our lands and holy sites,” he said. With that, Haniyeh said no amount of pressures on his government would lead Hamas to modify its stances.

 

Haniyeh added that his diplomatic tour a few weeks ago to various Arab and Muslim nations was extremely successful. He stressed that Iran promised to transfer USD 100 million to the PA next year and to finance spending by the government’s three offices for six months.

 

At the rally, senior Hamas officials said the Palestinian government would deal with whoever it was behind the shooting attack on Haniyeh at the Rafah crossing Thursday. They reiterated that the movement had no intentions of recognizing Israel or answering the Quartet’s demands.

 

At the same rally, Chairman of the Hamas faction in parliament Khalil al-Haya accused Abbas of "declaring war on Allah and on the will of the Palestinian people."

 

"We warn before it's too late that we shall strike with an iron fist all those involved in hurting our leaders and members, and those responsible for the attempt to assassinate the prime minister," he added.

 

Hamas officials noted that the group planned to remain in office until the end of its term.

 

The name of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit also came up during the rally. Al-Haya said, “Shalit will never be released if our heroic brothers are not released at the same time.”

 

New agencies contributed to the report

 

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