New Hamas Leader Vows ‘Liberation of Jerusalem’ in Extremist Speech

Ismail Haniyeh

The Times of Israel reports: Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh on Wednesday, in his first speech as head of the terror group’s political bureau, hailed an era of new relations with Cairo that would ease the blockade of Gaza, and made clear that Hamas has not changed its goal of liberating all of historic Palestine.

In a speech that was meant to show Hamas’s priorities under its new leadership, the 54-year-old native Gazan, speaking from a hotel in Gaza city, strayed little from the tone and content of his predecessor, Khaled Mashaal. With his characteristic preacher zeal, he railed against “Israeli violations” in Jerusalem and against the al Aqsa Mosque, promised to free Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, and emphasized that “not one inch” of Palestinian land could be relinquished.

“We will remain faithful to the principles of the Palestinian people, and at the forefront is the liberation of the land, of Jerusalem, of the al-Aqsa Mosque, the prisoners, the realization of the Palestinian right of return, and the establishment of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.”

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