Middle East Monitor / December 2, 2021
Ismail Haniyeh, the head of the Palestinian resistance movement, Hamas, said Thursday there are developments in the region that are in the interest of the Palestinian cause that will curb normalization deals with Israel, Anadolu News Agency reports.
Haniyeh made the comments at the opening session of the 12th conference on Jerusalem entitled, “The Vanguards of Jerusalem hold its Sword,” in Istanbul that saw the participation of 400 officials, lawmakers and activists from 40 countries.
Haniyeh started his talk with a vocal appreciation for Turkey’s supportive role.
“From the land of the beloved Turkey which is always etched in the conscience of our [Muslim] ummah (community) … we feel proud to participate in this conference,” said Haniyeh.
He said there are “three important changes that surround us at the level of the [Palestinian] cause, the region and the ummah, and I think they are present in this conference and we read them positively as important developments for our cause and our ummah.”
The first is the outcomes of the “Jerusalem Sword operation,” he said, with reference to fighting between Palestinian resistance groups in Gaza with Israel in May. Gaza responded to calls to protect Jerusalem.
The second is represented with the US withdrawal from Afghanistan in August, that will weaken the US’ allies in the region regarding Israel.
The third is the Istanbul conference because it confronts Israeli attempts to break Arab and Islamic nations.
Haniyeh said, based on the three changes, there are three priorities for the Palestinian cause: To raise the status of Jerusalem and keep it at the forefront of the Palestinian cause. Second, to support Palestinian resistance as a strategic option for the Palestinian cause.
The third priority that Haniyeh outlined is to down efforts of normalization with Israel.
He called for “setting a complete plan to topple the normalization which took the shape of military and security alliance with some Arab countries.”
Israel secured diplomatic ties with six Arab countries in 2020, after former US President Donald Trump’s administration brokered normalization deals between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco, in addition to the existing ties with Egypt and Jordan.
“Normalization will increase weakness of these [Arab normalizing] governments and won’t increase the enemy’s strength,” said Haniyeh. “We must not allow normalization to spread in the body of our ummah.”