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Hamas calls for Palestinian unity, resistance against Israeli occupation

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Masked youth cadets from the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Palestinian Hamas resistance movement, march in Khan Yunis, the Gaza Strip, on September 15, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

The Gaza-based Hamas resistance movement has called for unity and resistance against Israel, vowing to keep fighting against the occupying regime until the liberation of Palestinian territories.

In a statement released on Monday, on the occasion of the 33rd anniversary of its establishment, Hamas said it would continue the battle against Israel “until the liberation of Palestine, from the [Mediterranean] Sea to the [Jordan] River.”

“As the movement marks 33 years of its creation, Hamas calls for unifying the strategy of struggle against the occupier (Israel) to confront all the challenges that the Palestinian cause is passing through,” it added.

The resistance group also stressed that it would “continue to carry the banner of resistance” against Israel “until we achieve our people’s goals of freedom, the right of return [for Palestinian refugees and their descendants to their homeland] and the restoration of our land and holy sites.”

It further pledged to confront “all attempts to liquidate the Palestinian cause, first and foremost the Deal of the Century,” a pro-Israel scheme for the Middle East unveiled by outgoing US President Donald Trump earlier this year.

The Palestinian Authority (PA), which is headquartered in Ramallah, should withdraw from the 1990s Oslo Accords and support the popular resistance, especially in the West Bank, to confront the Israeli annexation plan, Hamas said.

It also vowed to cooperate with all Palestinian powers “to confront the wave of Arab normalization with Israel,” denouncing the peace accords as “a betrayal to Palestine” and a “national sin that only serves the Zionist enterprise in the region.”

In mid-September, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signed normalization pacts with Emirati Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Bahrain's Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al Zayani during an official ceremony hosted by Trump at the White House.

The following month, Trump said Israel and Sudan had also established economic ties as a pathway toward normalized ties.

Last week, Morocco became the fourth Arab state this year to announce it had agreed to forge formal diplomatic relations with Israel.

Haniyeh criticizes PA’s resumption of security ties with Israel

On Sunday evening, Ismail Haniyeh, head of Hamas’ political bureau, delivered a televised speech to mark the anniversary of the movement’s establishment.

During his speech aired by the Al-Aqsa TV channel, Haniyeh criticized the PA’s decision last month to resume security coordination with the Tel Aviv regime, saying it “formed an intense barrier” to achieving reconciliation with the Fatah party.

“The about-face carried by the Palestinian Authority in returning to relations, cooperation and speaking to the [Israeli] occupation […] constituted a strong impediment to achieving the breakthrough in reconciliation that we were hoping for,” he emphasized.

Haniyeh, however, stressed that “Hamas is ready to build a Palestinian national unified scene to confront the obliteration projects to the Palestinian cause.”

Separately, leading Hamas member Hossam Badran expressed the resistance group’s preparedness to resume talks for healing the inter-Palestinian rift with the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority government.

“We reiterate our readiness to continue dialogue to restore unity and rebuild Palestinian national institutions based on partnership,” he said in a statement.

Additionally, Hamas official Mousa Abu Marzook said that the movement was trying to “develop the infrastructure of the Palestinian resistance in its various forms.”

Hamas, he noted, is also working to extend its “resistance” to the West Bank to confront Israeli and US “conspiracies.”

The Palestinian group is facing “challenges” from the US and Israel as both regimes are “working in cooperation with regional powers to besiege and demonize Hamas and dry up its financial resources.”

Another Hamas official Ali Barakeh said the Gaza-based movement was seeking to build an Arab-Islamic coalition “to confront American and Zionist projects that are hostile to the Palestinian cause.”

No Arab or Muslim leader has the right to “give up one inch of the land of Palestine,” he said.

Abbas visits Qatar

On Monday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas began a two-day visit to Qatar, where he met with Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

The handout picture provided by the Palestinian Authority's press office on December 14, 2020, shows Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (L) meeting with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani in Doha. (Via AFP)

During the meeting, the Qatari emir affirmed his country’s “firm position on the Palestinian issue and its support for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, with East Jerusalem [al-Quds] as its capital, in accordance with international legitimacy resolutions, the two-state solution and the Arab Peace Initiative,” the Qatar News Agency reported.

Palestinian sources said that Abbas was hoping that Qatar would provide financial aid to the PA amid the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Abbas, the sources added, is also seeking Doha’s support for his initiative to convene an international conference for peace in the Middle East early next year.

“President Abbas is aware that Qatar, which has good relations with the US and Israel, would be able to play a role in pushing forward the idea of the international parley,” they explained. “He further wants Qatar to use its strong ties with Hamas to end the rivalry between his Fatah faction and Hamas.”

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