'Hamas to resist Israel ad infinitum'
The democratically-elected Palestinian Prime Minister and Hamas second-in-command, Ismail Haniyeh (file photo)
The democratically-elected Palestinian Prime Minister and Hamas second-in-command, Ismail Haniyeh says the Palestinian movement will never abandon its armed resistance against Israel.
Haniyeh made the remarks during an address to a gathering of thousands in the Tunisian capital of Tunis on Sunday.
The prime minister started a two-week-long visit to Muslim countries on December 25 and has so far toured Egypt, Sudan, and Turkey.
He arrived in Tunis on Thursday for a five-day-long visit and is also scheduled to travel to Qatar and Bahrain.
This is Haniyeh's first trip abroad since Hamas took control of the Palestinian territory of the Gaza Strip in 2007, having won the democratic parliamentary elections, which had been held a year earlier.
He promised difficult days ahead for Israel, citing Tel Aviv's struggle to cope with the Islamic Awakening -- the wave of popular uprisings in Middle East and North Africa, which broke out in Tunisia in January 2010.
The Palestinian leader also asserted that Hamas would also continue to defend the Palestinians' rightful claim to the Tel Aviv-occupied territories, including al-Quds (Jerusalem) -- the promised capital of any future Palestinian state.
He received standing ovation from the crowd, who waved Palestinian and Tunisian flags and shouted anti-Israeli slogans.
The speech had been organized by Tunisia's Islamic al-Nahda party, which recently won the country's parliamentary elections.