[News] Ismail Haniyeh Interview: “Lift the blockade on Gaza”

Anti-Imperialist News 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 
and <http://gulagnik.wordpress.com>http://gulagnik.wordpress.com

“All the victims of the Israeli attack are to be 
considered martyrs of the Palestinian cause. And 
as such they shall be remembered
 Israel has 
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 L’Unità, “with someone who 
commits and lays claim to such criminal acts? The 
Palestinian people’s answer to this act of State 
terrorism is united, strong and determined. It’s 
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. There’s 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 Hamas’s reply?

“It’s every Palestinian’s reply – we don’t 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 can’t 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. There’s 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 world’s 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 won’t 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, it’ll 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 who’ve 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 isn’t 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.

“It’s 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, it’s perfectly in 
line with the requests of many world leaders
Israel’s 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 it’s not the case. The hundreds of 
people who’ve challenged Israel’s 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.”

You’ve 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?

“That’s a possibility. It needs to be discussed, 
to clarify the conditions and the details.”

Can a model of reference be South Lebanon’s UNIFIL?

“Yes, it could be.”

(with the cooperation of Osama Hamdan)


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