The deputy head of Gaza-based resistance faction Hamas on Wednesday warned of the existence of a “vast international conspiracy” against the Palestinian national cause.
Khalil al-Hayya made the assertion in an Eid al-Fitr sermon delivered in Gaza City attended by leaders of several Palestinian factions and thousands of worshippers.
In his sermon, al-Hayya discussed Jerusalem, which Palestinians want as the capital of an independent state, and the fate of thousands of Palestinians who continue to languish in Israeli prisons.
He also stressed the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes in historical Palestine — a right, he said, that was now the target of what he described as a “vast international conspiracy”.
Al-Hayya also lamented the “complicated circumstances” currently facing the Arab world and stepped-up efforts by Palestine’s enemies to “destroy” the longstanding Palestinian quest for statehood.
“Many Arab and Muslim nations remain defenders of the Palestinian cause and continue to provide our people with funding and arms to continue their resistance [against Israeli occupation],” he said.
Al-Hayya also, however, voiced his “regret” over the trend towards normalization with Israel on the part of some Arab and Muslim states.
He went on to say that the difficult circumstances faced by the Palestinian people and cause made national unity “more necessary than ever”.
“We extend our hands in a call for unity without preconditions,” he asserted.
Since 2007, Palestine’s political stage has been dogged by division between Hamas and rival Palestinian faction Fatah.