Editor’s note: Below is the latest profile of Frontpage’s new series, “Voices of Palestine,” which will illuminate the core beliefs, in their own words, of leading figures in the Palestinian death cult. Click the following to view the profiles of Ahmad Bahr, Mahmoud al-Zahar, Ibrahim Mudayris, Yasser Ghalban, Haj Amin al-Husseini, Wafa al-Bis, Mahmoud Abbas, Ahlam Tamimi, Yassir Arafat (Part I and Part II), Abdallah Jarbu, Sheik Ismail Aal Radhwan, Abdel Aziz Rantisi, Yunis Al-Astal, Fathi Hamad and Khaled Mash’al.
Well before becoming prime minister of the Hamas-controlled Gaza government in 2006, Ismail Haniya had been a leader in the Palestinian death cult’s campaign to exterminate the state of Israel and erect in its stead an Islamist state.
Haniya’s commitment to jihad began shortly after he graduated in 1987 from the Islamic University of Gaza. He began planning terror attacks for Hamas during the First Intifada against Israel (1987-1993). Arrested in 1989, Haniya was briefly exiled to Lebanon in 1992 — along with 400 other Hamas terrorists — before returning back to Gaza in 1994.
During his time in Lebanon, Haniya formed a close friendship with Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmad Yassin, a relationship which hastened Haniya’s meteoric rise through the terror group’s organizational ranks.
Shortly after Yassin’s death in 2004, Haniya was chosen to lead the slate of Hamas candidates in the December 2005 Palestinian parliamentary elections, an election in which Hamas won majority control of the Gaza government. As a result, Haniya was sworn in as prime minister in March 2006 by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
Any hope that democracy would have a civilizing effect on the Gaza Strip died early on after the election. By December 2006, during a foray to Iran, Haniya pledged Hamas’s continuing commitment to jihad and its fealty to the Iranian Islamic state:
The world arrogance (US) and Zionists… want us to recognize the usurpation of the Palestinian lands and stop jihad and resistance and accept the agreements reached with the Zionist enemies in the past. I’m insisting from this podium that these issues won’t materialize. We will never recognize the usurper Zionist government and will continue our jihad-like movement until the liberation of Jerusalem. They (Israelis) assume the Palestinian nation is alone. This is an illusion. … We have a strategic depth in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This country (Iran) is our powerful, dynamic and stable depth.
While Haniya was able to solidify Hamas’s strategic alliance with Iran, he was less successful in negotiating alliances with rivals at home.
Specifically, tensions from the 2006 Palestinian election had led to violent clashes between Hamas and Fatah supporters; unrest which led Fatah leader Abbas to dismiss Haniya as prime minister in June 2007, an action deemed illegal by Hamas and thus never acknowledged by the terror group.
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