By Nour Abu Aisha
GAZA CITY, Palestine (AA) - Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh on Tuesday condemned U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence’s current tour of the Middle East, accusing the U.S. administration of flagrant bias towards Israel.
"Serious moves are afoot in the region aimed at forging alliances to counter U.S. policy," Haniyeh said in a speech delivered in Gaza City, referring in particular to the recent U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
These alliances, he said, "will pursue a two-pronged strategy involving both a refusal to recognize Israel and a policy of resistance [to Israel’s occupation]".
He did not elaborate further regarding the mentioned alliances.
On Sunday, Pence arrived in Israel for a two-day state visit to the region that also took him to Jordan and Egypt.
According to Haniyeh, recent policy decisions by the U.S. “affirm that the U.S. administration can no longer be considered an honest broker between Palestinians and Israelis in the so-called peace process”.
“The U.S., through its recent decisions and Pence’s speech before the Israeli Knesset [on Monday] ...has entered into a strategic alliance with Israel,” Haniyeh asserted.
The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump, he went on, “does not want to consider the needs of the Arab and Islamic nation; it wants to force the region to serve the interests of Zionism and Zionist security”.
Haniyeh described recent U.S. policy moves as “the prelude to an ‘Israeli peace’ in the region based on diplomatic normalization between Israel and the Arab states”.
Rejecting so-called “alternative homeland” proposals, Haniyeh reiterated Hamas’s rejection of a Palestinian state established at the expense of another Arab state, be it Egypt or Jordan.
Any future state of Palestine, he declared, “can only be set up in Palestine”.
The U.S. and Israel “seek to resolve the question of Palestine at Jordan’s expense”, the Hamas leader warned, adding: “The Palestinians rejected these resettlement proposals back in the 1950s”.