Haniyeh: Price protests confirm failure of Oslo

Maan News Agency | Sept 14, 2012 (updated Sept 15, 2012)

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said Friday that protests over rising prices in the West Bank confirmed the failure of the Oslo Accords.

Delivering a sermon at al-Omari Mosque, the Hamas premier called for a comprehensive review of the PLO’s agreements with Israel and urged the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority to end political, economic and security cooperation with Israel.

The Oslo Accords, signed in 1993 and intended as a five-year interim agreement leading to an independent Palestinian state, have been a focus of protests in cities across the West Bank.

Protesters angry at tax hikes and rising cost of living have called for the cancellation of the Paris Protocol, the economic annex of the accords, which protesters and economists say has benefited the Israeli economy at the expense of Palestinians.

Haniyeh called for a new strategy based on resistance and national unity to restore Palestinians’ rights. He reiterated his condemnation of violence in Syria, and vowed support for the Palestinian refugees in the country amid the bombings of Damascus’ Yarmouk camp in recent weeks.

Apology

The Gaza premier called for the US administration to apologize to the Arab and Muslim world for an amateurish video ridiculing the Prophet Muhammad which has sparked mass protests.

“The perpetrators must come before international justice, because this attack is against all international agreements, and against humanity,” Haniyeh said during the sermon.

He called for peaceful protests in Palestine and across the Arab world against the video. Muslims believe in all religions and each of the prophets, he noted.

The prime minister noted that the dissemination of the film came at during the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks of New York’s World Trade Center, calling the low-budget production a “Jewish-American Zionist attack that aims to incite sectarian battles among nations, especially in Egypt.”

US-based Egyptian Coptic activists and American evangelical Christians have been linked to production and promotion of the film, which portrays the Prophet as a womanizer, a homosexual and a child abuser.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has condemned the film as “disgusting and reprehensible,” adding that the US government had “absolutely nothing to do with (it).”

But, the US tradition of free expression, enshrined in the American constitution and law, prevented it from stopping individual citizens expressing their views “no matter how distasteful they may be,” Clinton said.


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