Haniyeh: Hamas govt sparked regional surge in Islamist rule
Published Tuesday 16/10/2012 (updated) 17/10/2012 16:25
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The Hamas-led government in Gaza was the first experiment in Islamist rule in the region and sparked a revolutionary surge in Islamist rule, Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said Tuesday.
The Hamas-led government elected in 2006 was "the first model which led to the breakout of a sweeping Arab revolution in the Islamic region," Haniyeh said at a festival to honor ministers.
Haniyeh said ministers in the Gaza government were the first to experience shifting from running an Islamic organization to running a state, an authority and a people.
"That government faced a hurricane and a political, economic and military battle as the outcome of elections was not recognized and a blockade was imposed on the government and war was waged to topple the government," he said.
The premier praised Qatar for its role in rebuilding the Gaza Strip after Israel's devastating Dec. 2008 war on the enclave. Qatar has pledged over $250 million to reconstruct infrastructure and homes destroyed by Israeli forces.
Haniyeh said his government was working to reconcile with its rival Fatah, which governs the West Bank, and denied it had any plans for Gaza to be an independent entity.
"We are moving within the borders of Palestine and we are working on liberating all Palestine, not parts of it."