Hamas Prime Minister To Tour Middle East

Ismail Haniyeh

Israeli media is reporting that for the first time since Hamas came to power in the Gaza Strip in 2006, Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh is planning a tour of Arab and Islamic countries. According to a Jerusalem Post report:

12/19/2011 21:09 Buoyed by the rise of the Islamists to power in the Arab world, Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh is planning a tour of Arab and Islamic countries – the first of its kind since his movement came to power in 2006.Yusef Rizka, political advisor to Haniyeh, said that the emir of Qatar has invited the Hamas prime minister to visit Doha, but no date has been set yet.RELATED:Haniyeh on Nakba Day: Pray for an end to IsraelHaniyeh awards Palestinian prisoners’ families $2,000 Islamists claim win in Tunisia’s Arab Spring vote According to Rizka, Haniyeh is currently considering visiting not only Qatar, but also Turkey, Bahrain, Tunisia and a number of Arab countries. He pointed out that Turkey had also invited Haniyeh.On Sunday, Haniyeh phoned the emir of Qatar to congratulate him on the emirate’s independence anniversary. During the conversation, Haniyeh invited the emir to visit the Gaza Strip.Rizka said that the emir has accepted the invitation, saying it was a “national duty to go to the Gaza Strip under the current circumstances.” However, no date has been set for the visit, Rizka added.Qatar is one of the few Arab countries that openly support Hamas. Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal has visited Doha several times in the past few years.Haniyeh also phoned the king of Bahrain and the crown-prince of Saudi Arabia and thanked them for their ongoing support for the Palestinians, the Hamas advisor said.

The Hamas charter states that it is ” is one of the wings of the Muslim Brothers in Palestine” and an early media report indicated that shortly after Hamas took over the Gaza strip, Muslim Brotherhood representatives were present to review Hamas military formations. In 2007,  a Hamas journalist acknowledged the role that the “international Muslim Brotherhood” has played in providing funds for the purchase of weapons and in 2008, an Israeli TV station reported that Muslim Brotherhood “representatives” had traveled to Gaza from Egypt through the open border to meet with Hamas. Hamas is supported financially and politically by the global Muslim Brotherhood and a NEFA Foundation report has documented the Hamas fund-raising activities of the Union of Good, a coalition of Islamic charities linked to the Brotherhood that provides financial support to both the Hamas “social” infrastructure, as well as its terrorist activities. Previous posts have also discussed the worldwide campaign orchestrated by the global Brotherhood against Israeli actions in Gaza during the 2008-2009 conflict with Israel. Anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli incitement in Hamas media is commonly reported.

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