Outgoing Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, while praising the new Palestinian unity government, boasted of the “advanced resistance” capabilities of the military wing of Hamas, a recognized terror organization.
Monday was a “historic day for the Palestinian people,” outgoing Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh declared regarding the swearing in of a new unity government based on the reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas.
Hamas is considered a terrorist organization by both Israel and the United States, as well as Great Britain, the European Union and Japan. Furthermore, Hamas has consistently called for the destruction of the Jewish State.
“Today, there is an army in the figure of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades,” Haniyeh stated. “We are leaving the government, but the resistance is advanced.”
Until the very last minute, Hamas refused to join the coalition government on the grounds that it would not have a Ministry of Prisoner Affairs. Fatah finally compromised by agreeing to subsume the ministry under the responsibilities of the new prime minister, Rami Al-Hamdallah, and Hamas joined the government. In so doing, both parties hope for greater solidarity between the West Bank and Gaza.
In an emergency cabinet meeting on Sunday night, Israel determined that it would suspend all peace negotiations with the Palestinian Authority because of its affiliation with Hamas, and that it would reduce the funds it gives to the PA.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is currently exhorting international leaders to refrain from being quick to recognize the new Palestinian government. He professed to find it strange that European governments who decry the murders at the Brussels Jewish museum can speak “in friendly tones about a unity government with Hamas, a terror group that carries out and praises such crimes.”
Author: Anne Gordon, United with Israel