We will not recognise Israel: Hamas leader at Azhar conference

Ahram Online, Friday 24 Feb 2012

Hamas leader Haniya rouses the audience attending Al-Azhar's solidarity conference for Palestine after repeated Israeli settlers' attacks against Al-Aqsa Mosque; gathering expresses solidarity with Syrian revolution

Al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo. (Photo:AP)

Hundreds gathered at Al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo on Friday in response to a call for protests by various political and religious groups against the recent Israeli settler attacks against Palestinians and brutal crackdown by the Syrian regime on the pro-democracy movement.

Al-Azhar mosque, the Al-Quds committee of the Arab Medical Union and several political and revolutionary movements have organised the event.

The conference heated as Hamas leader Ismail Haniya took the stage to address the audience on the Palestine-Israeli conflict.

Haniya urged Egyptians for solidarity with Palestinians in Al-Quds (Jerusalem). "We will never acknowledge Israel," insisted Hanyia during Al-Azhar's conference.

This is the first time the Palestinian leader speaks to the public in Egypt.

The conference was planned in response to the repeated attacks by radical Israeli settlers on one of the most sacred mosques, Al-Aqsa. They demand the end of the blockade of the Gaza Strip and the conference is also meant as a sign of solidarity with Palestinians.

Key speakers will discuss unifying Arab and Islamic efforts to stop the Judaisation of East Jerusalem.

Also on the agenda is how to support Syrians throughout Al-Assad's bloody crackdown against the uprising that is trying to topple his regime. The conference is expected to demand that the Arab League freeze Syria's membership and activate the Common Arab Defence Agreement to protect unarmed Syrians.

Moreover, Salah Sultan, a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood and the International Union for Muslim Scholars, is expected to make a speech, as is former Syrian parliamentarian Mamon El-Homsi.

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