Resistance key to a Palestinian state: Haniyeh

June 2, 2011 - 0:0

Palestine’s democratically elected Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh has said that an independent Palestinian state could only be achieved through resistance.

“Palestinian state will remain nonexistent as long as hopes are pinned on the United States and other Western countries,” he said on Tuesday.
Haniyeh further emphasized that the Palestinian cause will only bear fruit through perseverance, sacrifice and support from Islamic countries, Press TV quoted Iran's Fars news agency as reporting.
Prime Minister Haniyeh made the remarks at a ceremony, commemorating the first anniversary of Israel's attack on the Gaza-bound Freedom Flotilla.
Last year on May 31, at least nine Turkish activists were martyred and many others wounded as Israeli commandos attacked the aid convoy in international waters.
International activists are now preparing to set sail on a second freedom flotilla for the Gaza Strip in late June, challenging Israel's almost four-year-long blockade of the impoverished Palestinian enclave.
The convoy consists of 15 ships with some 1,500 activists from about 40 countries onboard.
The vessels will carry humanitarian aid, medical equipment, school supplies and construction materials.
Israeli military officials have so far confirmed that preparations are under way to stop any new flotilla.
In what is widely viewed as an unprecedented measure, the United Nations last week appealed to Mediterranean countries to block the voyage of the international humanitarian aid convoy to Gaza.
UN chief Ban Ki-moon claimed that the unarmed mercy ships “carry the potential to escalate into violent conflict.”
On Tuesday, Haniyeh said that he was “surprised” to hear Ban Ki-moon's statement urging organizers to cancel the aid flotilla.
The Palestinian premier then urged Ban to backtrack on his call and support the Palestinian cause, and not to “ignore the Israeli massacre of the Palestinian people, especially in Gaza.”
Last week, the (now former) head of the Arab League said on Saturday the Palestinians should seek UN recognition for their statehood in September because negotiations with Israel have proven futile.
“The sound path is going to the United Nations and political struggle,” Amr Moussa told Reuters.
He was speaking in Doha, where Arab League member states were to meet later on Saturday to discuss Palestinian options in the wake of major policy speeches by U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Moussa said a vision presented by Netanyahu in a speech to the U.S. Congress this week had amounted to a series of “no's.”
“I believe that negotiations have become futile in light of all of these no's. What will you negotiate on?” Moussa said, referring to the Netanyahu speech which the Palestinians said put more obstacles in the path of the moribund peace process.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, in Doha for the meeting of the Arab League's peace process committee, said this week he would seek UN recognition for Palestinian statehood if there was no breakthrough in the peace process by September.
The Palestinians currently have the status of UN observers without voting rights, but are hoping that at September's General Assembly they can persuade other nations to accept them as a sovereign member.
Abbas said on Wednesday that without a renewal of peace talks with Israel, the Palestinians will seek UN recognition.
“Our first choice is negotiations, but if there is no progress before September we will go to the United Nations,” Abbas said, slamming Netanyahu's speech to the U.S. Congress on Tuesday, which, he said, was devoid of any new incentive to restart peace talks.
The Palestinian leader said Netanyahu's speech only served to add obstacles on the road to peace and contained “errors and distortions”.