February 11, 2012
KUWAIT: The reconciliation agreement reached between mainstream Palestinian group Fatah and Islamist Hamas is a vital decision that will put an end to the bloody civil war of the Palestinian people, said Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh during a televised interview broadcast during his recent visit to Kuwait.
In response to Al-Rai TV’s question on whether he relinquished his position as Palestinian premier by agreeing on the condition to appoint Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as Prime Minister of a transitional government, Haniyeh said it “reflects [Hamas’] commitment to national unity by meeting Palestinians’ greater good.” Adding that “unity to realize fruits of this reconciliation” is the best hope Palestinian people can have. Haniyeh denied reports of infighting within Hamas, or that he plans to retire from political life.
The situation in Syria was also mentioned in the interview, about which Haniyeh commented, “[Hamas] can’t deny the fact that Damascus embraced us, yet the ongoing events in Syria right now are hard for any Arab person to accept – let alone Palestinians.”
Moreover, Haniyeh revealed that Hamas gave “numerous advices to the Syrian government to adopt dialogue instead of security options in dealing with local events,” adding that Hamas looks for “an end to the Syrian bloodshed [with a solution coming from] within the Arab countries.” “Demands, ambitions and hopes of the Syrian people must be given high attention,” Haniyeh said. “They deserve to live in dignity provided by a democratic political system that adopts reform and an elected parliament.”
Asserting on the Islamic movement’s independence, Haniyeh insisted that Hamas shares no ties with other Islamic movements “including the Muslim Brotherhood.” He went on to say that Kuwait’s Islamic Constitutional Movement “acts according to what they believe best serves the Palestinian cause.”.
Haniyeh also elaborated on his plans to visit Tehran, expressing appreciation for the “unconditional financial support” Hamas receives from Iran. He also recognized Arab countries and the Gulf Cooperation Council(GCC) as “the strongest supporters of Palestinian people.”
In a related development, MP Khalid Al-Sultan asked Arab and GCC countries to “commit to their role [in supporting] Hamas and rebuilding Gaza before demanding that the movement cut ties with any other party.”
The Islamist lawmaker said on Thursday that strong financial support from Arab and GCC countries would automatically lead Hamas to stop depending on Iran’s support.
Al-Sultan met Haniyeh during his recent visit to the diwaniya of fellow MP Waleed Al-Tabtabaei, and discussed “the Palestinian reconciliation and efforts to boost financial support for rebuilding Gaza”, said Al-Tabtabaei. He added that MP Mohammad Hayef was also present at the meeting.
Al-Tabtabaei made these statements to Al-Rai Thursday, before leaving Kuwait to Jordan along with fellow
Islamist lawmakers Hayef, Jamaan Al-Harbash and Adel Al-Dhamkhy to lead humanitarian efforts.
Haniyeh was invited by the International Islamic Charitable Organization (IICO) to attend a ceremony. Addressing the audience, he expressed gratitude to Kuwait’s support for the Palestinian cause which includes “$18 million annual support to Palestinian universities.” He also asked Arabs to support “Palestinian people’s resistance against the Israeli occupation.”
Furthermore, Haniyeh said that Hamas had condemned the Iraqi Invasion of Kuwait in 1990, indicating that “the Palestinian people who know how it feels like to be under occupation realizes the agony that Kuwaiti suffered during the invasion.” – Al-Rai
© 2012 Kuwait Times.
[Image: Ismail Haniyeh.]