Senior Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh called for Pakistan’s support against the Israeli occupation and defended the Oct. 7 raids by Hamas militants, saying they acted in self-defense to forestall the Jewish state’s plans to seize more Palestinian land.
In a virtual speech at the National Dialogue on “The Sanctity of Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Responsibility of the Muslim Ummah”, organized by Majlis Ittehad-e-Ummah Pakistan, Haniyeh stressed the need to address the challenges faced by the Palestinian people .
Haniyeh highlighted the arrest of approximately 16,000 Palestinians and the desecration of holy sites by Israel in violation of international norms. He expressed his disappointment at the non-implementation of the Oslo Accords. Praising Pakistan as a brave nation, he suggested that if Israel faced resistance from Pakistan, the cruelty against the Palestinian people could stop.
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Hoping for Pakistan’s support, he referred to the country as the land of the Mujahideen. He spoke of the high expectations Palestinians had of Pakistan. Haniyeh accused the United States and other countries of supporting Israel. He claimed that Israel had planned a surprise attack on Gaza with the aim of permanently destroying the enclave.
“Hamas is facing Israel’s most advanced weapons. We are determined to defeat Israel’s intentions.” Addressing the conference, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman Fazl said that under the prevailing circumstances, the role of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan was becoming increasingly important along with China and Russia.
He urged China and Russia to move to stop the US in the Gulf. Fazl announced that the celebration of “Al-Aqsa Mosque Protection Day on Friday (tomorrow). Next Friday, the JUI-F chief added, there will be demonstrations across the country. He announced his full support in the conference’s joint statement.
Speaking on the occasion, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Amir Sirajul Haq called for a boycott of companies that supported Israel. Renowned scholar and Chairman of the Mufti of Al-Madaris al-Arabiya Taqi Usmani stated that the two-state solution to resolve the Palestinian issue is not acceptable.
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“A two-state solution means recognizing Israel. No Muslim can accept Israel,” he said, adding that it is the duty of every Muslim to help the Palestinians as much as possible. He said Hamas men should be called Mujahideen instead of fighters.
He laments that despite the vast wealth and resources, Muslim countries were living a life of slavery. “If the world of Islam unites and cooperates, Western powers can do no harm,” he said, urging Muslim countries to demand an immediate end to Israeli atrocities against the Palestinians.
Caretaker Minister of Religious Affairs Aneeq Ahmed said that if the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) fails to resolve the Gaza crisis, then Muslim leaders will fail. He emphasized the important role that Pakistan, Turkey, Egypt, Qatar, Saudi Arabia could play in the prevailing conditions.
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Later the joint declaration of the conference was issued. The statement said scholars from different schools of thought strongly condemned Israeli atrocities in Gaza and demanded an end to Israel’s barbaric shelling and war crimes against the Palestinian people.
The conference demanded the release of Al-Aqsa Mosque. ending the blockade of the Gaza Strip; permanently opening the Egypt-Rifa border; increasing Pakistan’s aid mission to the people of Gaza; cutting diplomatic and trade relations with Israel and boycotting Israeli products.
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