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Hamas chief visits Lebanon amidst Arab tour

Ismail Haniyeh is set to meet with Lebanese officials and Palestinian leaders during the visit.

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On Sunday, Hamas’ political chief Ismail Haniyeh reached Lebanon as part of an Arab tour that comprised Egypt, Morocco, and Mauritania.

“Lebanon’s visit is significant for Hamas since it is a chance to meet Lebanese state leaders… along with leaders of Palestinian parties and resistance groups, and the Palestinian people in the refugee camps,” Haniyeh stated in a press conference upon his arrival.

The Hamas leader said his conferences in Lebanon will emphasize political developments after what he described as “the victory of resistance groups” in Gaza during Israel’s 11-day offensive in May.

An Egyptian-brokered truce on May 21 ended 11 days of fighting between Israel and Palestinian resistance factions in Gaza that exploded amid an Israeli court ruling to evict Palestinian families from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem.

At least 260 Palestinians were killed, and thousands were injured as a result of Israeli attacks in Gaza, while thirteen Israelis were killed by Palestinian rocket fire from the seaside territory.

Haniyeh said his visit to Lebanon aims to underline Palestinian rights and principles, including the right to return and reject any idea related to an alternative home for the Palestinian people.

Hamas seeks to revive support for the Palestinian cause during the tour, confront the wave of normalization of relations between Israel and Arab countries, and rally support against the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands.

Last year, four Arab countries – the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco normalized their relations with Israel, a move Palestinians described as a “betrayal” of their cause.

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