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Haniyeh Discusses Hamas Ties With Egypt, Iran in Speech

Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh’s speech over the weekend in Gaza omits reference to an imminent confrontation with Israel.
Ismail Haniyeh, prime minister of the Hamas Gaza government, prays before delivering a speech in Gaza City October 19, 2013. Haniyeh urged rival Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to speed up the implementation of the faltering Egyptian-brokered unity deal to heal six years of political rifts. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem (GAZA - Tags: POLITICS) - RTX14GN2
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For weeks now, Palestinian media circles have been abuzz with anticipation of Hamas’ historical speech, which was to be given by its leader Khaled Meshaal. This comes amid regional political developments and the movement's ongoing efforts to reassess its alliances and relations with Arab states.

Knowledgeable sources inside Hamas, however, told Al-Monitor that internal considerations, the attention focused on the Gaza Strip as a result of the prevailing tensions with Egypt, and the stumbling reconciliation efforts with Fatah have driven the movement to decide that Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, Meshaal’s deputy, would give the speech instead. This decision was made in particular because he would be face-to-face with other Palestinian figures, as opposed to appearing on television or a video conference. This would deprive him to a certain degree of vitality and the potential for interaction.

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