Hamas's Ismail Haniyeh in Tunis_311.
(photo credit: Reuters)
Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh declared Sunday that the Muslim
revolutions born out of the "Arab Spring" would replace US-backed chaos
in the Middle East, Hamas affiliate Al Resalah quoted the Hamas leader as saying.
most meetings with the Hamas prime minister and Arab officials have
been held behind closed doors, Haniyeh has made several public
appearances during his trip, including one from aboard the Turkish
vessel from which Turkish activists made a fatal attempt to break the
Israeli naval blockade on Gaza in 2010.
among those who will create a new Middle East. We have created a
glorious revolution that will bring back the nation and its glory in
place of the chaos that the American administration had so desired,"
Haniyeh told a gathering of Tunisian Islamist Ennahda party supporters in Tunis.
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According to the
report, tens of thousands of Tunisians gathered outside the palatial
government complex in the Tunisian capital to see Haniyeh speak, chanting in support of
Protesters also chanted "Death to Israel" and "the army of Mohammed is back," as Haniyeh reiterated his pledge not "to lay down our arms" or recognize Israel, according to AFP.
The Ennahda party, banned under the
rule of ousted Tunisian president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, has since
become the country's largest party, garnering 40 percent of votes in
last October's parliamentary elections.
Haniyeh has traveled Arab and Muslim
nations on a Middle East tour that began December 25, including Egypt,
Sudan, Turkey and Tunisia.
He has championed issues ranging from stopping the "Judaization of
Jerusalem," the IDF blockade on Gaza to the so-called Arab Spring
revolutions that he claims have influenced favorably the Palestinian
Haniyeh toured the Middle East shortly after meeting with Fatah in
Cairo, along with other Palestinian political factions, where the groups
agreed to join the PLO in to create a
unity Palestinian government.
Still, on Sunday, Palestinian
Authority President Mahmoud Abbas announced he would have to
"re-evaluate" reconciliation agreements after Hamas refused a Fatah
visit to the Gaza Strip, underlining ongoing tensions between the
Islamist group that rules Gaza and the PA.