Published: Tue, May 09, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

New Hamas chief pledges support to hunger-striking prisoners

New Hamas chief pledges support to hunger-striking prisoners

This week, Hamas issued a new policy document that for the first time indicated the group was willing to accept the idea of a future Palestinian state falling within borders that existed in 1967 before Israel took control of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.

Ismail Haniyeh replaced Qatar-based Khaled Mashaal in the terrorist organization's top position as head of the political bureau.

Haniyeh's rise was the latest sign of a power shift in Hamas from overseas to Gaza, which has been under Hamas rule since a violent 2007 takeover.

Rajoub, who also serves as chief of the Palestinian Football Association and the Palestine Olympic Committee, continued his criticism of Hamas, saying, "You are in no situation to teach Abu Mazen (PA President Mahmoud Abbas) or the Fatah movement". These are the two organizations that govern Palestinians, and they have been at odds with each other ever since Hamas gained control of Gaza in 2007.

Ismail Haniya was named the new chief of the Islamic Hamas movement on Saturday after he won in the recent internal elections, a spokesman for the movement in Gaza announced.

He added that "this reflects how powerful Hamas movement is".

The Palestinian Authority is determined to "dry up" all sources of funding for the Hamas government in Gaza, Dr. Ahmad Majdalani, member of the PLO Executive Committee told Al-Hayat Sunday.

Netanyahu said in the video that in its "hateful document", Hamas "lies to the world". "This is probably an indication of the increase of the power of the inside - particularly the military wing".

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According to the Protocol on Economic Relations, a.k.a. the Paris Protocol, signed by Israel and the PLO in April 1994, Israel collects and transfers to the Palestinian Authority the import taxes on goods that were shipped there, and the income taxes collected from PA residents employed in Israel and the Israeli settlements. At the same time, Haniyeh could stress Hamas' relationship with Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which have funded Hamas.

Haniyeh's leadership could now be hampered by major restrictions enforced by Israel and Egypt.

An occasional mosque preacher, Haniyeh still lives in Shati, though now with a heavy guard. During periods of respite, he still encourages terror attacks against Israel. Last week, Netanyahu urged Abbas to "fund peace and not murder".

Hardliners yield influence in the strip, which has been under an Israeli blockade for 10 years.

Ismail Haniya, a former prime minister of the Palestinian Authority, could help bring Hamas back into the global conversation.

Abbas dismissed Haniyeh in 2007, after the Hamas takeover of Gaza.

The Haniyeh administration resigned in 2014, as part of a deal with Fatah to set up a transitional government for both the West Bank and Gaza that was to pave the way for national elections.

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