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Photo: AFP
'Regards to Raed Salah.' Haniyeh
Photo: AFP
Hamas leader: We'll retrieve Jerusalem only by way of jihad
'Jerusalem will be returned to the Palestinians not by way of negotiations or hugging and kissing the enemy, but through blood, shahids and resistance,' Haniyeh says, adding 'Muslims must protect Al-Aqsa Mosque'

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said Wednesday that the Islamist group will not accept any future peace agreement that does not include the return of Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley to Palestinians hands and the return of Palestinian refugees to their homes in Israel.

 

Speaking at a ceremony marking 39 years since the fire at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem's Old City, Haniyeh said "no one can cede Jerusalem, the city from which the Prophet Muhammad ascended to the heavens.

 

"Jerusalem will be retrieved to the Palestinians not through negotiations or by hugging and kissing the enemy, but by way of jihad, blood, shahids and resistance. With Allah's help, Jerusalem will be returned," he said.

 

The Hamas leader added that "the Israeli-Arabs are safeguarding the Al-Aqsa Mosque; it is as if they are inside the belly of a whale. They represent the Islamic nation. We send them our regards, especially to Sheikh Raed Salah (founder of Islamic Movement in Israel)."

 

Haniyeh said that "according to most all reports on secret peace talks or agreements, Israel is refusing to relinquish Jerusalem and the West Bank, refuses to accept the right of return of Palestinian refugees, refuses to dismantle the settlements and deems the Jordan Valley vital to its security.

 

"On behalf of the Palestinian nation and Muslims everywhere, I say that we will not accept any such agreements," he said.

 

The Hamas chief continued to say that Israel is looking to damage Al-Aqsa and called on all Muslims to "protect Jerusalem".

 

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