Hamas chief says Trump's peace plan 'will not pass'

AFP , Sunday 26 Jan 2020

 Ismail Haniyeh
FILE PHOTO: Hamas Chief Ismail Haniyeh gestures as he delivers a speech in Gaza City January 23, 2018. REUTERS

Hamas leader Ismail Haniya Sunday warned the Middle East peace plan US President Donald Trump is expected to unveil next week "will not pass" and could lead to renewed Palestinian violence.

"We firmly declare that the 'deal of the century' will not pass. The new plot aimed against Palestine is bound to fail," and could lead the Palestinians to a "new phase in their struggle" against Israel, Haniya said in a statement.

Shortly after the Palestinian Islamist movement released Haniya's statement, a rocket was fired from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip towards Israel, the Israeli army said.

The army said it had carried out air strikes on Hamas targets in Gaza late Saturday, in response to the launching of incendiary devices attached to balloons sent over from the Palestinian enclave.

Hamas did not claim responsibility for Sunday's rocket attack but warned it was "time... to restore the rights of Palestinians with a new phase of fighting against Israeli occupation".

Hamas also called for talks in Cairo with other Palestinian factions, including the Fatah movement led by president Mahmud Abbas, in order to form a common response to Trump plan.

The US president is due to unveil his peace plan in the coming hours in Washington, where he is to hold talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his political rival Benny Gantz.

The Palestinian leadership was not invited to the US talks and has rejected Trump's initiative amid tensions over his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's undivided capital.

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