Jun 21 2019
The head of the Hamas Political Bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, said on Thursday that the truce understandings reached with Israel are threatened because of the “slow implementation” of their terms. Haniyeh made his comment in a meeting with representatives of the foreign press in the Gaza Strip.
“Hamas has worked in all directions to break the siege on Gaza until reaching certain understandings [with Israel],” he explained. “Unfortunately, the Palestinian citizen has not yet felt the outcome of these understandings.”
The former democratically-elected Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority pointed out that Israel has still not provided freedom of movement through the border crossings. “What’s more, it is blackmailing the Palestinians over the fishing zones; obstructing electricity and other projects; blocking the establishment of industrial zones; and imposing severe restrictions on the entry of funds into the Gaza Strip.”
The Palestinian factions and Israel reached these understandings at the end of last year following mediation by Egypt, Qatar and the UN. The stipulation was the easing of the Israeli-led siege on Gaza in return for an end to the ongoing Palestinian protests near the nominal border fence with Israel.
Haniyeh also told the journalists that restoring the Palestinian reconciliation process is “a top priority” for his movement. “The second priority after reconciliation is the reconsideration of the Palestinian national project, which has suffered through a lot of political turmoil. We are discussing with all the Palestinian factions a common interest through which we would preserve the rights and aspirations for the establishment of a Palestinian state.”
Lifting the siege, according to Haniyeh, is the third priority, followed by “thwarting the Israeli plans to annex settlements in the West Bank.”
Commenting on the US “deal of the century”, the Hamas official insisted that his movement does not know the terms of the deal. “However, there are indications that it will destroy the national project, and we cannot accept or work with it.”
According to Haniyeh, next week’s Bahrain conference to reveal the economic aspects of the “deal of the century” is part of the US-Israeli efforts to destroy the Palestinian national project. “The conference has an economic interface, yet political intent.” He called on the King of Bahrain to take “a bold decision” not to go ahead with the conference.
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