Abdul Jalil Mustafa
Arab News
August 31, 2009 - 12:00am

The head of Hamas’ political bureau, Khaled Meshaal, pledged on Sunday his movement would continue its struggle for “the liberation of Palestine.”

Meshaal was addressing an audience at a tent set up in Sweileh, where he received condolences over the death of his father, Abdul Rahim Meshaal, who was buried on Saturday. “Hamas, which has a political vision, sticks to the land, Jerusalem, the right of return (for Palestinian refugees) and resistance as a way for the liberation of Palestine as well as to the political and diplomatic equations and other spheres of work,” Meshaal said.

He vowed to work for ending rifts with inter-Palestinian feuds and to cooperate with any effort that seeks to achieve Palestinian reconciliation, be it Arab or Islamic, because “internal Palestinian divisions reflect an abnormal state of affairs”.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was represented at the funeral by Speaker of the Palestine National Council Salim Zaanoun. The Damascus-based Hamas leader traveled to Amman on Saturday after King Abdallah allowed his entry to Jordan for the first time in a decade to attend the burial of his father and receive condolences.

Meshaal, who was deported from Jordan 10 years ago after the closure of Hamas offices in Amman in 1999, assured the Jordanian government that his group had no intention to interfere in Jordan’s domestic affairs.

“We assure the leaders of Jordan that Hamas will only do what is in Jordan’s interests because we do understand the international and regional equations,” he said.

The Hamas leader pledged to foil any Israeli or US scheme that may seek “to impose solutions at the expense of Jordan,” including the alternative homeland. He was referring to a recent proposal by an Israeli Knesset member to establish a homeland for Palestinians in Jordan.

Meshaal commended a recent statement by Jordan’s King Abdallah who pledged to stand by the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes, which they fled after the creation of Israel in 1948.

Meshaal did not meet with any Jordanian official so far, but mourners included Jordan’s Chief Justice Ahmad Hlayel, leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood movement, dignitaries, senior Jordanian politicians and tribal leaders.


American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017