Palestinians rally in favor of Hamas

Abbas advisor: Hamas must recognize Israel, honor existing agreements.

Haniyeh in iran 298.88 (photo credit: AP)
Haniyeh in iran 298.88
(photo credit: AP)
Advisor to Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas Ahmad Abed Arachman said Friday that Hamas must recognize Israel and honor all existing agreements between Israel and the Palestinians. According to Abed Arachman, PA Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh's declaration in Teheran that Hamas would "never" recognize Israel proved that Hamas could not be part of a PA unity government, Army Radio reported. Haniyeh vowed that the Hamas government would never recognize Israel and would continue to fight for the liberation of Jerusalem. "The world's arrogance (US) and Zionists ... want us to recognize the usurpation of the Palestinian lands and stop jihad and resistance and accept the agreements reached with the Zionist enemies in the past," Haniyeh told thousands of Friday prayer worshippers at Teheran University. "I'm insisting from this podium that these issues won't materialize. We will never recognize the usurper Zionist government and will continue our jihad-like movement until the liberation of Jerusalem," he said. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of Palestinians demonstrated on Friday afternoon in favor of the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority government, and demanded that Haniyeh remain in power even if a unity government were established. On Thursday, Haniyeh arrived in the Iranian capital for a four-day visit for talks with Iranian leaders including President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who has called for Israel to be "wiped off the map." The PA prime minister is on his first tour abroad since his Hamas-led government took office in March. Haniyeh called Iran, a longtime ally of Hamas, the Palestinians' "strategic depth" because they were together in their fight against Israel. "They (Israelis) assume the Palestinian nation is alone. This is an illusion. ... We have a strategic depth in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This country (Iran) is our powerful, dynamic and stable depth," he said. Iran has provided the Hamas-led Palestinian government with US $120 million this year despite a US-led international financial boycott of the Palestinian government. The financial aid has boosted Iran's influence among Palestinians. Along with his meeting with Ahmadinejad, Haniyeh is scheduled to hold talks with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and former president Hashemi Rafsanjani during his visit.