'Victory is near.' Hanyeh in his Gaza hideout
Photo: AFP

Hamas PM: We'll cooperate with truce initiatives

In televised speech from his Gaza hideout, Haniyeh says Islamist group will back any initiative that will result in 'enemy's withdrawal', but adds Palestinians will 'continue to fight occupying forces until victory achieved with Allah's help'

Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said in a televised speech delivered from his hideout in Gaza on Monday that the Islamist group would "cooperate with any initiatives aimed at ending the (Israeli offensive) and bring about the enemy's withdrawal and the reopening of the crossings."


However, Haniyeh added that simultaneous to the ceasefire talks the Palestinians would continue to fight "the occupying forces".


"We are certain that eventually we will achieve victory and crush the offensive," he said.


"The people who have lost their loved ones or whose homes have been destroyed are displaying unprecedented resilience, and the population is continually encouraging us despite the crazy and indiscriminant bombings."


According to Haniyeh, at least half of the Palestinian casualties are women and children; he stressed that "victory comes to those who believe and those who carry out Allah's commands."


During the speech Haniyeh cited several of verses from the Quran, and said "we trust Allah and know that he is by our side despite what people are trying to tell you to affect your spirits; I say that victory is close."


The Hamas leader offered his blessings to the Palestinian fighters, saying "we embrace you and kiss your head and hands and the ground you walk on. You are the protectors of this nation's dignity and land. You are the makers of victory.


"After 17 days of fighting, I can say with certainty that Gaza and faith will prevail," he said. "The Palestinian people will triumph with Allah's help."


Haniyeh concluded his speech with a prayer: "Allah, grant us victory over the infidels."


Meanwhile, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said Monday that Egyptian negotiators have indicated Hamas is showing some urgency in its desire for a ceasefire deal to end the fighting in Gaza.

Miliband told lawmakers in the House of Commons that Egyptian officials had talked to him about their talks with Hamas.


"There is a measure of urgency. Hamas were in Egypt yesterday. But there are some fundamental issues to overcome," Miliband said.


AP contributed to the report 


פרסום ראשון: 01.12.09, 21:05
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