by Saud Abu Ramadan
GAZA, Dec. 14 (Xinhua) --
Deposed Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haneya on Sunday said U.S. President-elect
Barak Obama and the Israelis will not overcome his movement.
Senior Hamas leader Ismail Haneya
delivers a speech before tens of thousands of Hamas supporters during a
rally to celebrate the Islamic movement's 21st anniversary in Gaza city
Dec. 14, 2008. Haneya said U.S. President-elect Barak Obama and the
Israelis will not overcome his movement. (Xinhua Photo)
Speaking before hundreds of thousands of Hamas
supporters who gathered to celebrate the Islamic movement's 21st anniversary in
Gaza city, Haneya said: "You will not win and will not defeat this great
people," referring to Obama, "the Zionists and those who participate in
blockading the Palestinian people."
Haneya also said the current U.S. President George
Bush "is falling while Hamas castles are not."
The number of the crowds is estimated around 350,000,
including women and children, flooding the Katiba square in southwest of Gaza
city. "I don't see an end to these crowds but definitely Allah sees," Haneya
said, adding that this reflects Hamas' support.
The United States and Israel lead an international
campaign to isolate Hamas since it won parliamentary elections in 2006 against
Fatah, the secular movement led by moderate President Mahmoud Abbas.
Haneya questioned the effect of Israeli sanctions
that tightened on the Gaza Strip since June 2007 when Hamas routed pro-Abbas
forces and seized security installations in the coastal territory.
"Hamas is deep-rooted like Palestine's mountains and
our people are stronger under the siege and Hamas is more popular after the
siege," he said.
In June, Egypt brokered a ceasefire between Hamas and
Israel to ease the blockade in exchange for calmness, but the agreement was
rocked last month with a resumption of violence.
Haneya did not present his
movement's decision about the future of the ceasefire which will end on Dec. 19,
but said that the factions "reached to a negative result of the deal because the
siege remained in place, the aggression continued and the lull did not shift to
the West Bank."
Tens of thousands of Hamas supporters
attend a rally to celebrate the Islamic movement's 21st anniversary in
Gaza city Dec. 14, 2008. (Xinhua Photo)
Meanwhile, Haneya reiterated that Hamas will not
recognize Israel and added that "We will go for our brothers in the 1948
territories (Israel) instead of letting them come to us," responding to Israeli
Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni who said the Arab residents of Israel should move
to live in the Palestinian statehood once it is established.
Haneya also slammed U.S.-backed peace talks between
Israel and the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), saying they were
He reiterated that Hamas will not recognize Abbas as
a president after his term ends on Jan. 9. "No legitimacy for extending the
president's term," he said.
Haneya's statements reflected the deep power struggle
between Hamas and Abbas' Fatah movement which is now dominant in the West Bank.
Hamas plans to appoint speaker of its parliament Aziz al-Dewik, who is held by
Israel, as Abbas' transitional successor until new elections are held.
Last month, Hamas thwarted an Egyptian effort to
reconcile it with Fatah, but Haneya said that Hamas "will go tomorrow for the
dialogue in Cairo when (the PNA) releases Hamas prisoners in the West Bank."