Palestinian Hamas senior leader Ismail Hanieyh visited the Tunisian town that sparked the Tunisian Revolution of Sidi Bouzid yesterday January 7th.
He addressed a large crowd under a heavy police presence. He praised what he called “the heroic role of the Tunisian Revolution of freedom and dignity in successfully toppling despotism and repression” and he announced that the Tunisian Revolution marked the “birth of a new dawn of justice.”
Haniyeh called upon all Tunisian parties to “reconcile their internal differences and to participate in the most constructive ways for the success of the democratic transition in Tunisia.” He further stressed the importance of the agreement reached by the three main political parties in building a coalition that strengthened a partnership for the administration of the Tunisian state.
Haniyeh warned Tunisians that he believes there are foreign plots against them to “punish the Tunisian people for their choice of those whom they want to lead them,” just as Palestinians were “punished for having elected Hamas” in 2006 in what were considered to be the fairest elections in the Arab world at the time.
He highlighted the role of the Tunisian Revolution in “teaching other people great lessons in civilization by making one of the most unprecedented revolutions in history that inspired the Arab Spring. Haniyeh went on to stress the importance of the Palestinian cause, and the Palestinian’s refusal to concede an inch of Palestinian land to Israel and the non-recognition of the state of Israel.
He added that resistance is the only way to achieve the liberation of Palestine and regain control of Al Quds (Jerusalem) after the failure of conditioned negotiations in the last two decades. “They [negotitations] encouraged some Arab countries to open consulates and diplomatic missions,” he went on. Hanieyh blasted any negotiation with Israel as a major betrayal to the Palestinian cause.