Photo: AFP
Al-Zahar: Allah on our side
Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP
Mashaal. 'Military revolution'
Photo: AFP

Hamas: Meetings with Europeans in cards

Palestinian Foreign Minister al-Zahar says he will be meeting with European representatives during his upcoming tour in the Gulf; European countries engaged in contacts with Hamas through various channels, he says. Mashaal: We won't recognize Israel

European countries are engaged in contacts with the Hamas-led government through various channels, Palestinian Foreign Minister Mahmoud al-Zahar said in Damascus Friday evening.


"I can tell you that during my upcoming visit to the Gulf in a few days I'll be meeting with representatives of European countries," al-Zahar said during a convention marking the death of top Hamas figures Ahmed Yassin and Abdul Aziz Rantisi, both assassinated by Israel.


Al-Zahar added "those who bet that the Palestinian government will surrender will fail, and those who bet on the starvation of the Palestinian people will also fail."


The Palestinian minister said Syria has announced the launching of an aid campaign for the benefit of the Palestinians and noted a similar campaign will be initiated across the Arab world starting next month. Al-Zahar thanked Syria for its support and for upgrading the Palestinian mission in Damascus to the status of embassy. He said support for Hamas and the Palestinians is growing across the Arab and Muslim world.


"Look at what's happening on the streets of Cairo, look at the people here in Damascus, look at the support we're receiving all over the world," he said. "A nation that has Allah at its side, nobody will starve it, and nobody will defeat it."


"For Hamas and the Palestinian government, our choice is that Israel is not a partner. The Arab world is our partner," al-Zahar said.


'Conspiracy to thwart elected government'


Turning his attention to the PLO, the Hamas leader said: "We do not accept a PLO that cheers on Clinton in Gaza, and we don't want a PLO that signs the Oslo agreements. We want a PLO that works for the independence of all of Palestine." Al-Zahar vowed that Hamas would gain a foothold in the PLO despite objections.


Addressing the question of recognizing Israel, al-Zahar added: "To all those who ask whether we'll be recognizing Israel, our answer is clear: We will not recognize the robbing of our lands."


Meanwhile, Hamas Politburo Chief Khaled Mashaal, also speaking in Damascus, said Hamas will not allow "collaborators with Israel to take power" with Israeli and American support. Mashaal slammed intra-Palestinian attempts to undermine the Hamas government said they were tantamount to a military revolution.


"What's happening today in the Palestinian Authority is not opposition activity, but rather, a conspiracy to thwart the elected Palestinian government," he said.


Mashaal added that his movement would not recognize Israel.


Fatah: Mashaal stirring civil war


In response to the accusations, Fatah Spokesman Ahmed Abdel Rahman harshly blasted Mashaal, saying that the Hamas leader was stirring civil war. He called on Mashaal not to interfere in the Palestinians' business.


"We, the ones who live here, are better aware of what our interest is. You are stirring civil war. Leave us alone here at the territories to solve our problems without your interference," he said.


According to Abdel Rahman, Mashaal is not involved in what is happening in the territories.


"Our transfer of the government to Hamas was intact. The cooperation between us continues. The Hamas leadership even asked us to take part in a national unity government," he said.


Mashaal was even implicitly criticized by his party member, Deputy Palestinian Prime Minister Nasser Shaer, who called on Palestinian leaders to exercise self-control in their comments.


Speaking to the al-Jazeera satellite network, Shaer said: "We, in Palestine, are in real need of self-control, calm and precision in declarations and statements so that they will not be used or misunderstood."


AP contributed to the report


פרסום ראשון: 04.21.06, 20:59
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