[News] Ismail Haniyeh Interview: Lift the blockade on Gaza
news at freedomarchives.org
Fri Jun 4 11:18:47 EDT 2010
Ismail Haniyeh Interview: Lift the blockade on Gaza
Jun 4th, 2010
Translated from Italian by Daniela Filippin for
All the victims of the Israeli attack are to be
considered martyrs of the Palestinian cause. And
as such they shall be remembered
committed its umpteenth act of terrorism. State
terrorism. Exactly like the siege of Gaza. Thus
speaks Ismail Haniyeh, Prime Minister of Hamas.
How can one speak of negotiation, even
indirectly adds Mr Haniyeh, in this exclusive
interview granted to LUnità, with someone who
commits and lays claim to such criminal acts? The
Palestinian peoples answer to this act of State
terrorism is united, strong and determined. Its
a determination that President Abbas (Abu Mazen)
must also show: we once again appeal to the PLO
to cease all negotiations with Israel, both
direct and indirect. Theres no point in
continuing to negotiate in the light of a crime
that stretches beyond all limits of acceptability.
Israel has stressed that it will prevent with
every means available the lifting of the Gaza blockade. What is Hamass reply?
Its every Palestinians reply we dont intend
to give in to those who practice State terrorism
as policy. In these last few days I hear words
like truth and justice being used from all
But the word justice has no real meaning
when Israel is involved. International
investigations have reported the crimes committed
by the Israeli armed forces during the war
provoked in Gaza. Well, no one has ended up being
held accountable for those crimes. The truth is
that Israel continues to enjoy a total
international impunity. It shall not be stopped
in its tracks by words of condemnation or appeals
towards moderation. Including appeals to free Palestine
President Mahmud Abbas (Abu Mazen) has defined
the Freedom Flotilla assault an act of State terrorism
President Abbas cant shut his eyes and ears off
to the outrage of an entire people. But President
Abbas must draw his conclusions, act out on these words of condemnation
What does Hamas think that acting out should involve?
Interrupt all negotiations, whether direct or
indirect, with Israel. Theres no point talking
with someone who knows and practices only the language of violence
This is a language that Hamas itself has never stopped using
The right to resistance is recognized even by
the Geneva Convention. We are resisting against
one of the worlds most powerful armies. The
United States and Europe all too often pretend to
forget that the blockade on Gaza has been imposed
by Israel after Hamas won the first free
elections in the Territories. Ours was a
government legitimized by the vote. But this has
counted for nothing to the Israelis. The
population of Gaza had to be punished for its
choice. They did this by starving it, by turning
Gaza into an open-air prison
We continue to
fight against this state of affairs. If the word
justice still had any sense, the international
community would be imposing the end of the siege
on Israel. But that wont happen anytime soon.
The fact remains that President Abbas has
announced that in spite of everything, the
indirect negotiations will continue
If this will indeed happen, itll be a very
serious state of affairs, especially at such a
time. Resistance against the Israeli aggression
requires unity rather than choices that bring fragmentation.
Some claim that the assault on the pacifist ships was a gift to Hamas
This claim is outrageous, cynical and shameful,
and an insult to the victims of this act of
Israeli piracy. Only those whove forgotten Gaza
could have been surprised by the Israelis
actions. Their arrogance knows no bounds. Just
like their impunity. All the victims of the
Israeli attack are to be considered martyrs of
the Palestinian cause. And as such they shall be remembered. Always.
You spoke of language of force. But in the
language of Hamas, the word negotiation exists.
Of course. But it isnt synonymous with surrender
Even those who consider the exclusion of Hamas
from the peace process ask for a sign of aperture
from you: recognizing the State of Israel.
Its as if a victim were ask to recognize, and
thus to legitimize their aggressor. I want to be
even more explicit on this point: any form of
recognition cannot help but become a part of a
negotiation, not a form of prejudicial conduct.
Hamas is willing to negotiate a long-term hudna
(truce) with Israel. The condition is that the
Gaza siege be lifted and the colonization of the
Occupied Territories should cease immediately,
including that of Al-Quds (Jerusalem). This is
our request. As you can see, its perfectly in
line with the requests of many world leaders
Israels response has been there for everyone to see.
Speaking of the Freedom Flotilla: Israel
branded the organizers and participants as pro-Hamas.
To the Israeli propaganda this is equivalent to
turning them into criminals. To us it would be an
honour. But its not the case. The hundreds of
people whove challenged Israels State terrorism
were moved by a profound sense of justice and
solidarity towards an oppressed people, who are
prevented from traveling, and brought to the
limits of starvation. They challenged the Israeli
army. This makes them heroes.
Youve asked the International Community to do
something to lift the blockade of Gaza. Would
Hamas agree to accept an international
interposition force stationed at the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel?
Thats a possibility. It needs to be discussed,
to clarify the conditions and the details.
Can a model of reference be South Lebanons UNIFIL?
Yes, it could be.
(with the cooperation of Osama Hamdan)
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