Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, asked the Palestinian Prime Minister-designate Ismail Haniyya to form the new Palestinian government headed by Hamas.After the official notice sent by Abbas, Haniyya will have up to five weeks to put together a coalition and form the government.

Abbas urged Hamas movement to recognize the past peace deals with Israel, and to seek the Palestinian statehood through “nonviolent means”.

Meanwhile, Haniyya said that it is still too early for Hamas to join the Palestinian security forces although the movement is going to form the next government.

“The occupation and aggression against our people are ongoing”, Haniyya told reporters in Gaza after receiving Abbas’s letter, “We can’t talk about disarming the resistance while the occupation is attacking us”.

Hamas said that it has the right to resist the occupation and that it is the movement’s right to pursue this goal through armed struggle.

Regarding its government, Hamas is hoping to form a broad coalition with other Palestinian factions.

Meanwhile, Israel said that it cannot consider dealing with Hamas movement until it recognized Israel’s right to exist and the past agreements.

The Israeli acting Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert said on Tuesday that the chances of reaching a “quick peace agreement” with the Palestinians became smaller after Hamas won the Palestinian elections.

Haniyya belongs to a Palestinian family that was living in Al Joura village, near Asqalan, currently known as Ashkelon, after the war in 1948 and the mass deportation of Palestinians, his family went to Gaza and lived in Al Shaty’ refugee camp.  

He was born in Al Shaty’ refugee camp in 1963, received his school education at the UNRWA schools in the camp. He completed his school education at Al Azhar Islamic college, and obtained his degree in Arabic in the Islamic University in Gaza.   

At the university, Haniyya was an active member of the Muslim Brothers Movement and started his activities at the Islamic Coalition which was formed by Sheikh Ahmad Yassin, the spiritual leader of Hamas who was assassinated by the Israeli army in March 22, 2004.

Sheikh Ahmad Yassin, killed when three Israeli missiles struck his weak wheelchair-bound body on 22 March 2004, the assassination came six and a half years since his release from an Israeli prison.

Haniyya was elected as member of the Students Council at the Islamic University in Gaza in 1983, and became the head of the council in 1985.

After the outbreak of the Palestinian Intifada which broke out in 1987, Haniyya who was 24 years old, was one of the founders of Hamas movement.

He was repeatedly arrested by the Israeli soldiers in 1987, 1988 and 1989. He spent three years in detention after he was arrested in 1989; the Israeli security claimed that he headed the security department of Hamas movement.

In 17 December 1992 Haniyya and several members of Hamas were deported to Marj Al Zohour area, south of Lebanon. He remained in exile for one year.

He was elected as a prominent member of Hamas political bureau after the outbreak of Al Aqsa Intifada late 2000.    

Israel attempted to assassinate Haniyya in 2003 when Israeli missile was fired at him and the wheelchair bound Hamas spiritual leader in September 2003.