Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh called on Palestinian factions, including the Palestinian Authority, to unite and wage war on Israel with an intifada and armed resistance in the West Bank, Israel’s NRG reported on Tuesday.
Haniyeh also addressed the results of Israel’s elections earlier this month, saying that the “re-election of Netanyahu and the reinforcement of the Likud Party have revealed the true face of the occupation.” He then stressed the need to move on to a real strategy of Palestinian unity against the “occupation.”
Mohammad Al-Hindi, a member of Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s political bureau also commented on the Israeli elections, claiming that they showed there was really no difference between Israel’s political parties. “We have been in negotiation for 20 years, and have been led astray after the minor political differences [between Israel’s political parties.] Israel continuously announces that it is building new settlements, and says very clearly that there is no reason for negotiation, yet the Palestinian Authority continues to shout ‘two states!’ Netanyahu said that there will not be two states, and we are crying and begging the world.”
Al-Hindi said there was no point in waiting for a change in the world’s opinion. “How does the Authority intend to resume negotiations with Netanyahu, when he declares that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel only?”
He also noted his opposition to Mahmoud Abbas’ moves on the international scene, saying, “there is a danger of giving legitimacy to outsiders to intervene on the Palestinian issue.”
Haniyeh said that returning to the spirit of resistance and the second Intifada would increase the power of the Palestinian factions, and claimed that it was necessary to strengthen the resolve of, and connection to, the “Palestinians of 1948,” – meaning Israel’s Arab citizens – and Palestinians abroad.
Haniyeh made his comments at a conference in Gaza, and noted that Arab states must concern themselves with the Palestinian issue, and support the Palestinians economically and morally, despite all of the events occurring in the Arab world.