New Hamas Chief Backs Hunger Striking Prisoners

Incoming French president Emmanuel Macron prepares to speak after his victory in presidential runoff at his campaign headquarters in Paris Sunday

Following Abbas' order, Hamas Treasurer Youssuf Al-Kieli announced that Abbas' order was illegal and therefore would not be implemented.According to Al-Kieli, these types of orders, when signed by Abbas, must first be approved by the Palestinian Legislative Committee.

The document states that Hamas is willing to accept a Palestinian state based on "1967 borders" (the 1948 armistice lines), but this is not acceptance of the "two-state solution," which calls for a commitment to sustainable peace and coexistence between Israel and Palestine. It also said it would not recognize the Oslo Accords.

In a separate development Sunday, Germany's president said that despite recent disagreements, the foundation of his country's relations with Israel remains solid - a reference to a recent diplomatic spat over an Israeli anti-occupation group. It presented itself as an alternative to the secular PLO. Haniya's election may even jumpstart the stalled unification attempt by the Islamic Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, and the secular Palestinian Authority, which controls Palestinians living in the West Bank. It believes it can then use the global community to support its jihad struggle against Israel.

Its military wing, Al-Qassam Brigades, became a key player following the Oslo deal - which Hamas rejected - when it waged a series of suicide attacks inside Israel in the 1990s. The Israeli Government Press Office stated that "this fraud was carried out in collusion with the senior ranks of Hamas in Gaza, headed by Ismail Haniyeh".

Haniya, who was chosen by the party as its new leader on Saturday, said the Islamist movement stood with the hundreds of prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli jails.

Hamas has run Gaza since 2007, after it pushed Fatah out following a controversial election and a near civil war. Two other major offensives took place in 2008 and 2014, all resulting in massive civilian deaths and injuries, and the destruction of the Gaza's volatile infrastructure.




Ismail Haniyeh replaced Qatar-based Khaled Mashaal in the Palestinian group's top position, as head of the political bureau.

The Israeli government has said the document aimed to deceive the world that Hamas was becoming more moderate. It took Meshaal and key leaders years to wake up to the new geopolitical reality, post-Arab Spring, that their fundamentalist course was leading them nowhere.

Speaking at his weekly Cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said President Trump's upcoming visit to Israel reflects the strong bond between the two nations. He answered the question by crumbling the document and depositing it into a trash can. In its founding charter, Hamas calls for setting up an Islamic state in historic Palestine, including what is now Israel.

It also aims to appease Egypt, which holds the key to the door to Gaza and could ease the blockade on the strip.

The announcement caps several months of voting among Hamas' far-flung members in Gaza, the West Bank, Israeli jails and overseas to select a replacement for Meshaal, who sought to step down.

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