The Palestinian Prime Minister, Ismail Haniyya, a member of the Hamas
party, said during a speech in front of tens of thousands of residents
in Gaza that Hamas will not recognize the Israeli occupation over
Palestine, and offered a 10-year truce with Israel. He also called for
an immediate end to all internal clashes and tensions in the
During his speech in Al Yarmook playground in Gaza, Haniyya collapsed briefly, apparently due to having fasted all day for Ramadan (a month-long Muslim holiday of fasting and feasting that began two weeks ago).
Haniyya called on the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas (of the rival Fateh party) to return to Gaza and continue the national dialogue; and demanded a comprehensive national reconciliation between all factions and between all Palestinians in order to end all types of internal clashes and tension.
Haniyya said that reform in the Palestinian Authority should also be accompanied by reform in the Palestinian Liberation Organization, and called on all factions and groups to stop the defaming campaigns and the attacks against public and private properties.
Commenting on the issue of early elections, which had been raised by President Abbas after his visit to Washington last week, Haniyya stated that this notion aims at expelling Hamas out of the government, and said that any government formed by Hamas will be committed to the Palestinian constitution, and will maintain all rights and principles.
Haniyya also said that the Executive Force formed by Hamas is not an outlawed militia, and that it belongs to the Ministry of Interior. There are 2500 members of the Executive Force, some of them are not members of the Hamas party.
Also, Haniyya denied accusations that Hamas had backed away from its plan to create a national unity government.
“Others backed away, and revoked their support of the national unity document”, Haniyya stated, “There are American and Israeli pressures to stop the formation of a national unity government, they want a government that is supplicant to their plans and demands.”
Haniyya denied that there are divisions in Hamas and confirmed that the movement is united and strong and that it makes this latest announcement after consulting with its leadership in Palestine and abroad.
He also said that the Ministry of Interior will take the needed measures to end the chaos and insecurity and that the ministry and its security devices will bring to justice every person who participated in attacking and sabotaging the ministries and public facilities.
Moreover, Haniyya rejected any foreign interference in Palestinian internal matters, and said that Hamas will not recognize Israel but will support a ten-year truce with Israel in return for the establishment of a Palestinian state with the 1967 boundaries.
Referring to the issue of the abducted Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, Haniyya said that his government tried repeatedly to resolve this issue, blaming Israel's stubbornness in refusing to negotiate for the lack of an agreement. He insisted that Israel should fulfill the legitimate demands of the Palestinians that all detainees in Israeli prisons should be freed.
Haniyya also called on the Arab and Muslim countries to intervene and live up to their responsibilities as Arabs: “The Palestinian cause is not only a Palestinian issue”, he said, calling on Arab leaders to work on ending the siege imposed on the Palestinians.
Haniyya was pale during his speech and collapsed briefly, but after resting for several minutes he continued his speech normally.
Commenting on Haniyya's speech, a Palestinian Legislator from the rival Fateh party, Nabil Shaath, said that Haniyya must overcome all obstacles and maintain his responsibilities, such as finding a solution to be able to pay the salaries of the Palestinian government employees.
Shaath added that when the late president Yasser Arafat was surrounded in his headquarters in Ramallah for three years, he continued to pay the salaries and maintained his relations with other world leaders and the international community.
Shaath also said that the money that made its way to the Palestinian territories went to Hamas and not to the government, adding that President Abbas did not stand idle during this period, but attempted to help, and managed to arrange an agreement with Egypt to fix the shelled electric generation plants in Gaza and to open the border crossings.
The rally was attended by tens of thousands of residents who waved green Hamas flags and shouted praise to Haniyya.
At the end of his speech, Haniyya called on Palestinians to unite and respect the holy month of Ramadan by stopping all sorts of internal clashes and violence.
He also called on Fateh and Hamas leaders to hold an urgent meeting in order to maintain the Palestinian unity and end the clashes.