'Hamas won't let Palestinians starve'

Official, speaking at Gaza rally, says Hamas will "throw off" the siege, expand government services.

hamas rally 224 88 (photo credit: )
hamas rally 224 88
(photo credit: )
Hamas will devote all political and diplomatic measures possible to lifting the blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip, Hamas official Halil al-Haya said Friday at a rally in Gaza in honor of Hamas's founder, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin. "The Palestinian people will throw off the siege... All the nations in the region know that Hamas won't allow the Palestinian people to die of hunger," Haya declared. According to the Palestinian news agency Ma'an, Haya also warned Israel not to believe that Hamas and other "resistance factions" would offer a unilateral ceasefire. The Hamas official also denied that any truce between his organization and Israel was currently in place. Haya said that Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh's regime in Gaza would soon be expanded. "The government is working tirelessly, and soon we will expand our services in order to fulfill all our [obligations]," he said. Meanwhile, the World Tribune Web site has reported that Hamas is seeking to take over Al-Azhar University in the Gaza Strip, one of the last Fatah-controlled institutions in Gaza. The report quoted Palestinian sources as saying that Hamas operatives were sent to seize the university, a Fatah stronghold for almost 30 years. The university also opposed Hamas's takeover of the Strip. "Hamas sees Al-Azhar as the last bastion of Fatah in the Gaza Strip," a Palestinian activist said. "All the other Fatah institutions have either been destroyed or have gone underground."