In a statement faxed to press on Tuesday, Palestinian prime minister Ismail Haniyeh of the Hamas movement expressed willingness to reach ‘a state of calm’ in the region, saying that any offer or initiative to achieve this ‘will be considered by his government’.
The statement read that the Palestinian government in Gaza has been closely watching the latest developments on the ground, ‘particularly the continued Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip and the West Bank’.
Haniyeh stated that ‘the Israeli occupation’s threats against the Palestinian government and Hamas’ ranks indicate that Israeli policies have failed to make the Palestinian people succumb.’
The Hamas leader also stressed that the Palestinian people have been looking forward to ‘freedom on the national soil, with Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state’.
The Prime Minister’s remarks came one day after Israeli government officials threatened to target Hamas leaders, including Haniyeh himself, in a bid to finally end Hamas’ rule in Gaza .
Hamas, the ruling movement in Gaza, has declared that they will take a series of precautions in light of such threats, yet vowed to continue its resistance strategy, ‘whatever the price is’.
Hamas’ strategy is based on violent resistance as a means to free the occupied Palestinian territories from Israeli occupation. It took over the coastal region last June, amidst a power struggle with the Fatah party of President Mahmoud Abbas, who follow a more moderate strategy, which appeals to the US and western backers.
In 2006’s parliamentary elections, a majority of Palestinians voted for the Islamist Hamas movement, ending the rule of the secular Fatah party, ‘which considers peace as a strategic choice for the Palestinian people’.