Head of the Political Bureau of Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh, has denied reports that stated his intentions not to return to the Gaza Strip and that he would settle in Turkey or Qatar.
“It is absolutely untrue that I will not return to the Gaza Strip, although staying in a territory or state here or there may be necessary for a time, without paying too much attention to such rumours,” Haniyeh said, responding to a question about the talk that he would not return to the Gaza Strip and stay in Turkey or Qatar.
He continued: “These rumours have their own objectives. My mission is to move between the territories of the movement and our people [Palestine] and the the refugee camps and the diaspora [outside of Palestine]; but my homeland is Palestine and my residence is in Gaza.”
“Hamas is spread out like the Palestinian people, in different geographical areas, and there is a weight for our people in many of these places,” Haniyeh said.
He added: “The interest of the Palestinian cause comes first, and the movement’s affairs requires being in more than one arena and directly pursuing political and leadership actions.”
Haniyeh noted that one of the main objectives of these foreign visits is “to discuss developments related to the Palestinian issue, confront attempts to liquidate it, strengthen bilateral relations with these countries and their components, and follow up on the situation of the Palestinians.”