Haniyeh, Mashaal meet Sudan's Bashir over J'lem

Hamas leaders take turns warning Sudanese president about Israel's stepped up "Judaization of Jerusalem," ask for funding.

Bashir, Zahar, Mashaal, Haniyeh_150 (photo credit: Reuters)
Bashir, Zahar, Mashaal, Haniyeh_150
(photo credit: Reuters)
Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and senior official Khaled Mashaal met Sudanese President Omar Bashir in Khartoum Thursday, taking turns warning the Sudanese president of Israel's stepped-up efforts to "Judaize Jerusalem" and asking for financial support, Lebanese news outlet Elnashra reported.
According to Elnashra, Mashaal spoke gravely about the "Judaization of Jerusalem," which has been a common theme of Haniyeh's during his tour of Arab nations that began this last week in Egypt.
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Haniyeh said that the Arab world must support maintain the Muslim character of Jerusalem both politically, but also financially.
According to Elnashra, the Islamist leaders discussed the reconciliation agreement signed between Fatah and Hamas for forming a new unified Palestinian government, and eventual Palestinian "liberation."
The leaders also discussed the role the Palestinian issue is playing within the greater Arab arena, especially in light of 2011's Arab uprisings in North Africa, Bahrain and Syria.
Mashaal joined Haniyeh in the Sudanese capital after the Hamas prime minister stopped for a few days in Cairo this week, as part of his tour of Arab nations. The two were accompanied by a delegation that included influential Hamas co-founder Mahmoud Zahar to meet with Bashir.
The Hamas leaders met with the Sudanese president after the Hamas prime minister told reporters in Cairo last Tuesday that Israel was trying to "ethnically cleanse" Jerusalem.
Haniyeh has championed the issue of Jerusalem throughout his Middle East tour, highlighting it as one of the most important issues facing Palestinians. He has also emphasized the need of Arab countries to provide economic assistance for the endeavor.
Hamas agreed that it would join the PLO in upcoming Palestinian elections, based on a reconciliation agreements signed between the Islamist group and and Fatah in Cairo. The group may feel its grip on power threatened by Islamic Jihad in Gaza, which receives more funding from Iran than Hamas.
The Hamas prime minister will stay in Khartoum at least through Saturday, where he will participate in "Jerusalem Forum" hosted by the African nation.
His is then scheduled to visit Qatar, Bahrain, Turkey and other Arab and Islamic nations on his first tour through the Middle East since 2007.