Haniyeh meets Northern Ireland’s Adams in Gaza
Hanieyh (L) with Adams (R) [Ma’anImages]
Gaza – Ma’an/Agencies – De facto Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh met with Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams in Gaza on Wednesday evening.
The Irish leader is in the region to promote peace negotiations among all the parties to the conflict, including, implicitly, Hamas. Adams himself is the leader of a previously-stigmatized party that has now made peace with the UK and is part of a power-sharing government in Northern Ireland.
The Hamas leader explained to his guest how his party has isolated by the international community, paving the way for Israel’s onslaught against Gaza in December and January.
“When we won the elections by a majority, they refused to deal with our government, and instead they besieged it politically and economically, before Israel launched a military offensive against Gaza using all its powers including internationally-banned weapons,” said Haniyeh
“Their only achievement was killing innocent men, women, children and police officers,” Haniyeh told Adams.
He also said Israel’s unreasonable demands were to blame for the collapse of Egyptian-brokered ceasefire talks with Hamas, and decried the Israeli blockade of Gaza.
Adams said that he was happy to visit Gaza and express solidarity with the Palestinian people. He said the overwhelming majority of the Irish people support the Palestinians, and are paying attention to the situation in Palestine. He said the situation in Gaza was similar to “a big prison.”
"I was pleased to speak directly with Mr Hanieyh. I outlined to him Sinn Féin's view that there should be a complete cessation of all hostilities and armed actions by all sides,” he told reporters.
"The fact is that the people of Palestine and the people of Israel are destined to live side by side. I believe that most people want a peaceful accommodation,” he said. "Following my meeting with Mr Haniyeh I believe that progress is possible.”
He also said: "As I have said consistently there needs to be a dialogue between the people of Palestine and their leadership and the people of Israel and their leadership. That is what worked in Ireland."
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