Gun is only way to fight Israel, Hamas head says

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said in Iran that armed resistance is the only way to fight against Israel.

The "gun is our only response to the Zionist regime," Haniyeh said Monday in Tehran, according to the semi-official Iranian Fars news agency.

"In time, we have come to understand that we can obtain our goals only through fighting and armed resistance, and no compromise should be made with the enemy," he reportedly said.

Haniyeh also said the Israeli presence "inside Palestine" is "the root of all regional problems."

On Sunday, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told the Arab League at a meeting in Cairo that he will resume efforts in United Nations agencies to recognize a Palestinian state if Israel does not agree to his conditions for resuming peace negotiations.

The conditions, which Abbas said he will send in a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, include basing talks on the 1967 lines, a halt to construction in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem, and the release of Palestinians in Israeli jails.

Abbas also called on the Arab League to organize an international peace conference.

In response to Abbas’ statements, Netanyahu said, “Instead of entering into negotiations that will lead to an end to the conflict, Abbas prefers to join forces with the Hamas terrorist organization — the same Hamas that is embracing Iran.”

Under a Palestinian unity agreement signed between Abbas’ Fatah Party and Hamas, an interim government will be formed under the leadership of Abbas, with elections to be held later this year.
 

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