Haniyeh to Israel: Recognize Us First

Democratically-elected Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh says Israel must recognize the rights of the Palestinian people before asking for recognition.

"They have to recognize us first, the right of the Palestinian people, we are the victims. Hamas supports the establishment of a Palestinian state with the 1967 borders," Haniyeh said on Wednesday.

Palestinians want their future state based on borders before the Israeli occupation of June 1967, as recognized by the international community, with its capital in East Jerusalem (Al-Quds), said the senior Hamas member.

Haniyeh also pointed out that the Islamic Resistance Movement is ready for dialogue with the international community, including the United States and the European Union.

"Hamas is ready for dialogue with the world, international community, the US, the Middle East Quartet and the Europeans," he said.

Haniyeh said he was determined to "establish Palestinian reconciliation and to have fair elections… in all Palestinian homes, including Jerusalem (Al-Quds)."

Hamas has been in power in the Israeli-blockaded Gaza Strip since June 2007 after it drove Fatah forces out of the coastal sliver, to prevent a US-backed coup.

Under pressure from Israeli lobbies, the US and the EU refuse to hold formal talks with the democratically-elected movement, which came to power following general elections in 2006.

(Press TV)

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