ismail haniyeh gaza hamas leader fomer prime minister zeina awad pkg grab
Talk to Al Jazeera

Talk to Al Jazeera: Ismail Haniya

Ismail Haniya, the Hamas prime minister, in conversation with Al Jazeera’s Zeina Awad.

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Al Jazeera’s Zeina Awad speaks to the deposed Palestinian prime minister and top Hamas official in Gaza Ismail Haniya.

He was elected as prime minister in 2006 and he ran the government of national unity until that government fell when Hamas took over Gaza in 2007.

Al Jazeera talks to the deposed PM about whether a Gilat Shalit deal could bring Hamas an international recognition.

“We hope the deal will open new horizons, and better prospects that would help those parties reconsider their positions which we perceive as unjust, negative and incorrect”

“We want to build relations with other countries internationally”

He talked about the siege on Gaza, “The siege should be lifted from our Palestinian people and the government.”

We asked about President Mahmoud Abbas call for new elections in which he will not run, and the possible Palestinian reconciliation,

“Holding Palestinian elections without achieving inter Palestinian reconciliation is a difficult task.”

Al Jazeera asked him about his take on the the new US administration,

“Up to the moment deeds are not indicating that US foreign policy has changed, specifically with respect to the Palestinian question.”

“The recent US stance on Israel’s settlement constructions is indicative and a grave set back in that respect, and it is signalling the US continuous tendency of embracing Israel’s position.”

“The US president has voiced many balanced attitudes, but we hope that he would seek to implement those ideas, so far we haven’t seen any change.”

He also spoke about the difference between the US and the European countries in dealing with Hamas.

“We do have relations and contacts with many European countries, namely Sweden, we have also received Swiss, German, British and Italian delegations and from other countries.”

Talk to Al Jazeera aired from Wednesday, 16 December, 2009.