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Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh. (Photo: via Wikimedia Commons)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

“Any effort or agreement must ensure a permanent ceasefire, a complete withdrawal from the entire Gaza Strip, a genuine prisoner exchange deal, the return of the displaced, reconstruction, and lifting the blockade.”

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh has said Israel has introduced amendments to the ceasefire proposal that has put the negotiations at “a dead end.”

In a televised speech to mark the 76th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba (Catastrophe) on Wednesday, the head of the movement’s political bureau said: “Since the beginning of the brutal aggression on Gaza, the movement has spared no effort to stop it and halt the genocide by all means.”

He stressed that Hamas “recently announced our acceptance of the proposal presented to us by our brothers in Egypt and Qatar, which was known to and followed by the American administration.”

“However, the occupation responded to the proposal by occupying the Rafah crossing, launching aggression on Rafah, and entering the Jabalia camp and the Al-Zaytoun neighborhood in Gaza,” he stated, adding: “They also introduced amendments to the proposal that put the negotiations at a dead end.”

Haniyeh vowed that the movement will continue its efforts “to stop this brutal aggression by all possible means.”

He emphasized that “Any effort or agreement must ensure a permanent ceasefire, a complete withdrawal from the entire Gaza Strip, a genuine prisoner exchange deal, the return of the displaced, reconstruction, and lifting the blockade.”

“The behavior of the occupation towards the various proposals confirms its premeditated intention to continue the aggression and war, showing no concern for its prisoners or their fate.”

Resistance Factions

Haniyeh said Israel’s “repeated attempts to undermine the position of the resistance factions, coupled with its refusal to respond to the flexibility demonstrated by the movement in recent months and its insistence on occupying the Rafah crossing and expanding aggression in Rafah and other areas, put the entire negotiations at an unknown fate.”

He also slammed the US administration saying that “the recent American statements that aim to blame the movement for halting the ceasefire negotiations despite the American administration’s awareness of the movement’s positive stance, again confirm the American bias towards the enemy, providing it with political cover and military support for its war of extermination against our people.”

On Israel’s occupation of the Rafah crossing, the Hamas leader said the movement is in contact with Egypt, saying “We agree on the necessity for the Israeli army to withdraw from the crossing immediately, and the enemy has no right to interfere in how the crossing is managed, as it is a Palestinian internal matter, and we will manage it according to the established protocols.”

Gaza’s Future

There has been much talk, Haniyeh said, about the so-called ‘day after the war,” and Israel’s “objectionable positions” on managing the situation in Gaza and removing Hamas “from the scene.”

“We say that Hamas is here to stay. The management of Gaza after the war will be decided by the movement in cooperation with the national consensus, based on the supreme interests of our people in Gaza and facilitating all post-war matters according to the national vision that ensures the unity of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.”

He highlighted that the management of Gaza after the war was a central topic in the national Palestinian dialogue held in Moscow months ago, “in the recent bilateral meeting with our brothers in the Fatah movement in China,” and in the meeting with the leaders of the Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front in Istanbul, as well as the meetings with the Democratic Reform Current.

“We will continue consultations with all factions and Palestinian figures,” Haniyeh stressed.

Tortured Detainees

The Hamas leader saluted Palestinian detainees behind bars whom he said “are facing the fiercest campaign of oppression by this criminal Zionist government,” which deprives them of “their basic human rights, in addition to various forms of torture and medical neglect.”

He also drew attention to “the criminal practices of the occupation in secret detention centers, where all kinds of atrocities, physical and psychological torture, and executions against detainees from Gaza are committed.”

Hamas has prepared a file on the assault and abuse of prisoners, he said and has begun to deliver it to international, regional, and human rights institutions.

The movement’s leader also expressed appreciation for “all the positions that support our people and their right to freedom, return, independence, and stopping the aggression on Gaza, particularly the decisions taken by Turkey to halt trade with the occupying state and join the lawsuit filed at the International Court of Justice in The Hague. We also appreciate the positions of Egypt and Libya in joining this lawsuit.”

Global Solidarity

“We are witnessing an unprecedented scene in history, with students from around the world in America, Europe, Australia, Japan, and elsewhere supporting the Palestinian cause and showing solidarity with our people in Gaza,” he stated.

“They are calling to stop the genocide against our people in Gaza, halt the export of weapons to this entity, and demanding their universities end their universities’ investments in the entity.

“It is Gaza that has become the icon for the youth of the world in all movements. It is Gaza that has toppled the zionist narrative, revealing the true and bloodthirsty nature of this occupier. It is Gaza that has reunited the nations around Palestine, embodying the unity of the fields in the Axis of Resistance, … and providing a broad horizon for rewriting history and drawing the maps of political geography.”

“The myth of ‘a land without a people for a people without a land’ and the notion that ‘the old will die and the young will forget’ have ended forever,” said Haniyeh. “They intended the Nakba to destroy the Palestinian people and end their sacred cause. Yet, the Palestinian cause remains strong in the consciousness of our people, our nation, and the free people of the world.”

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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