AFP: Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniya vowed on Friday not to recognize Israel and to continue fighting to liberate Jerusalem, the Iranian state news agency IRNA reported. TEHRAN, Dec 8, 2006 (AFP) – Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniya vowed on Friday not to recognize Israel and to continue fighting to liberate Jerusalem, the Iranian state news agency IRNA reported.
“We will never recognize the usurping Zionist regime,” Haniya was quoted as saying in a speech at Tehran’s Friday prayers.
“We will not give up our Jihadist movement until the full liberation of Beit al-Muqqadas (Jerusalem) and Palestinian land,” said Haniya, who is on a four-day visit to the Islamic republic.
“The global arrogance and the Zionists … want us to recognize the usurpation of our land, stop Jihad and resistance and commit to agreements already signed … but I assert that these things will never happen,” he said.
Haniya, who arrived in Tehran on Thursday, is expected to meet with supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during his visit.
Iran, like Haniya’s Islamist group Hamas, refuses to recognize Israel. It is a vocal backer of the Hamas-led Palestinian government and has handed it 120 million dollars in aid since the administration was formed in March.
“We are standing by the Islamic Republic of Iran, and with this country we will resist American and Zionist pressures,” vowed the Palestinian premier.
Hamas has sought to bolster ties with its regional allies as it desperately seeks to replenish the Palestinian treasury after Western countries froze aid when the party took office.
Haniya’s visit comes after the collapse of talks between Hamas and the secular Fatah faction of president Mahmoud Abbas on forming a government of national unity and ending the aid blockade.
His tour has already seen Haniya visit Qatar, Bahrain and Syria.