For the first time since 2007, Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh left the Gaza
Strip Sunday on a tour that will take him to a number of Arab and Islamic
On the eve of the tour, Hamas reiterated its opposition to
renouncing violence and recognizing Israel’s right to exist.
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tour will take him to Egypt, Sudan, Turkey, Bahrain, Qatar and Saudi Arabia,
said a Hamas official in the Gaza Strip.
Unconfirmed reports said that
Haniyeh will also visit Benghazi for talks with the new leaders of
Haniyeh left the Gaza Strip through the Rafah border crossing at
the head of a delegation consisting of ministers and top Hamas
The London-based Al- Hayat
newspaper said that Sudanese
President Omar Bashir sent a private plane to Cairo to pick up the Hamas prime
Haniyeh’s talks with the Arab and Muslim leaders will focus on
the situation in the Gaza Strip, the official said.
The Hamas leader will
seek financial aid for rebuilding destroyed houses and solving the severe
problem of unemployment in the Gaza Strip, the official added.
Rizka, a political adviser to Haniyeh, said this was an important visit because
of the changes in the Arab world as a result of the “Arab
Meanwhile, Hamas legislator Salah Bardaweel reaffirmed his
movement’s refusal to recognize Israel.
He said Hamas remained committed
to the armed resistance option “until the occupiers are expelled from
“We won’t recognize Israel under any circumstances,”