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PA PM defends Hamas as “a pillar in Palestinian national movement, not a terror organization”

PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh: “Hamas is a central component in the Palestinian political arena. Likewise, Hamas and Fatah are two pillars in the Palestinian national movement… We defended the Hamas Movement at the UN. When the UN wanted to define Hamas as a terrorist movement, we set out against this resolution and thwarted it. Today it’s Hamas, tomorrow the Popular Front [for the Liberation of Palestine] (PFLP), afterwards Fatah... Even the PLO today is registered in the American Congress as a terror organization. We are defending our national project with all its details and parts… Our minds and hearts are open to reach true national unity that will end this [Hamas-Fatah] rift.”

[Al-Araby TV (Qatar-based), YouTube channel, Dec. 10, 2023]

Hamas war on Israel October 2023 - At least 1,200 Israelis, including over 1,000 civilians, were murdered and over 4,800 wounded, in addition to approximately 244 who were abducted into the Gaza Strip (including 110 later released or liberated and at least 26 later killed), in a Hamas terror war that began when approximately 3,000 Hamas terrorists broke through Israel's security fence at the Gaza Strip border and launched a surprise attack, taking control of several Israeli towns and attacking a music festival on the Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah, which fell on the Sabbath, Oct. 7, 2023. During the massacre, the terrorists tortured, raped, shot, beheaded, and burned their victims alive, murdering entire families and leaving at least 21 children without parents. Hamas terrorists also fired at least 5,000 rockets at Israeli population centers. In response, Israel launched the Swords of Iron War to counter the Hamas terror threat. Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon joined Hamas' terror war starting from the following day, attacking Israel from the north. Occasional rocket launches and shootings continued from Lebanon throughout the war. A ceasefire and prisoner exchange deal began on Nov. 24, 2023, in which Israel agreed to release 150 terrorist prisoners, pause drone surveillance in the Gaza Strip, and allow movement between the northern and southern Gaza Strip, in return for 50 Israeli female and child hostages held by Hamas. The deal was subsequently extended with additional releases, until Hamas violated the agreement and resumed attacking on Dec. 1, 2023.

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