Hamas refuses 15 bln USD for dismantling arms: official

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GAZA, July 27 (Xinhua) — The politburo chief of the Islamic Hamas movement Ismail Haniyeh unveiled that his group rejected 15 billion U.S. dollars for dismantling its arms, a Qatari news report said on Monday.

“Hamas rejected a proposal of carrying out several economic projects, including an airport and a seaport in Gaza for dismantling the arms of the movement and changing its strategies towards Israel,” said Haniyeh.

Haniyeh, who had left the Gaza Strip ten months ago and is currently in Qatar, made his remarks to the Qatari news website Lusail in an interview at his office in Doha published on Monday.

The top Hamas leader said that the United States made the offer through a third mediator that he didn’t name, adding that the proposal was part of the U.S. President Donald Trump’s Mideast peace plan.

“The American plan is aiming at establishing an isolated Palestinian entity in the Gaza Strip,” Haniyeh explained, adding that a third party “came to us and made the offer, but we rejected it.”

Hamas movement had seized control of the Gaza Strip in the summer of 2007 following weeks of internal fighting with the security forces of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

All mediations made between the Islamic movement and the Fatah movement of President Abbas to end more than 13 years of internal division have so far failed.

“Hamas will not give up the land of Palestine and will never hand over its arms or stop the resistance or abandon the right of return,” said Haniyeh, adding that Hamas will never sell Jerusalem for money.

In the interview, Haniyeh said that more than 13 years of an Israeli blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip caused more than 45 percent of unemployed and high rates of poverty.

“Thanks to Qatar, who had already donated 1.5 billion U.S. dollars in support for the Gaza Strip over the past ten years,” said Haniyeh. Enditem

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