Haniyeh urges respect for unity deal

PressTV – Fri May 6, 2011 12:41AM

Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh
The Palestinian premier says the international community must respect the wishes of his people, referring to the unity deal signed between Hamas and Fatah.

The reconciliation between the two factions is the most important political event in Palestinian history, Ismail Haniyeh said in a speech on Thursday.

Khaled Meshaal, Hamas’ political chief and Mahmoud Abbas, the acting chief of the Palestinian Authority — which is dominated by Fatah — on Wednesday, endorsed an understanding deal the representatives of the two sides had reached late last month in Cairo.

Haniyeh said Palestinians will not abandon their cause until their aspirations are met.

The signing of the accord will pave the way for elections and the formation of a unity government, he said, adding that the deal was agreed on despite Western and Israeli plans to derail it.

Following the inking of the deal in the Egyptian capital, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “What happened today in Cairo is a tremendous blow to peace.”

Because of Hamas’s potential role in the new Palestinian government in the near future, Israel has frozen the flow of vital tax revenue transfers to the West Bank.

Haniyeh said that the Palestinians, including Fatah should not “give in to political or economic extortion.”

“Let the enemy (Israel) declare what they want to declare, we have no relationship with the occupier. The relationship we have with them is one of struggle and not one of mutual satisfaction,” Reuters quoted him as saying.

“We want to avoid Gaza entering a new war through agreeing on how to manage this resistance. We do not fear the occupation nor the threats of the occupation,” he said.

Haniyeh’s comment was the first concrete sign of progress for the unity deal which seeks to resolve a four-year split in the Palestinian national movement that had hindered the quest to achieve statehood in land captured by Israel in a 1967 war.

FTP/MGH

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