Senior Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh delivers a speech during Friday prayers at a makeshift tent erected near the remains of a mosque in Gaza City.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The deputy of Hamas' political branch, Ismail Haniyeh, claimed on Friday that the naval blockade on Gaza will soon be lifted with little political cost to the Palestinians.
In a conversation with the Persian Gulf site, al-Hilaj, the senior Hamas official said that "Hamas is making great strides in all directions with the goal of lifting the siege from the Gaza Strip."
"The time for leaving the blockade is nearing," Haniyeh said. "The next phase will be positive and important for the residents of the Strip."
There has been a naval blockade on the Gaza strip since 2007. In June, activists attempted to break the blockade
aboard the flotilla ship Marianne av Göteborg.
The ship was intercepted at sea by Israeli authorities, who called on the activists to put their hands in the air. The IDF carried out the confiscation of the ship without having to use force.
How the IDF reroutes a Gaza-bound flotilla
Naval vessels towed the Swedish boat into the port of Ashdod following the interception. No one was hurt in the seizure of the ship.
"The siege will not last long. Due to Palestinian efforts it will be removed without a political price," said Haniyah, although he did not further explain how his vision would transpire or if such plans would involve a third party to mediate negotiations between Israel and Hamas.
Regarding the possibility for a new round of violence, Haniyeh remarked: "We do not want a new round of violence with the Israeli occupation. We are operating so that the resistance can prevent risks to the Strip and will continue to support the residents until the siege is lifted."
This month marks the one year anniversary since Operation Protective Edge, which lasted 50 days.
During that time, Palestinian terrorists in Gaza launched thousands of rockets and mortar bombs into Israel during which Israeli shelling and air strikes battered the enclave and destroyed thousands of homes.