Hamas calls on Gaza donors to recognise its legitimacy

March 3rd, 2009 - 1:45 am ICT by IANS  

Gaza, March 3 (DPA) The Islamic Hamas movement Monday called on the international community to recognise its legitimacy as the ruler of Gaza Strip.
Speaking as international donors began a conference to discuss the reconstruction of the salient of Israel’s recent offensive, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum urged the participants to “deal with the legitimacy (of Hamas) if they were interested in the Palestinian people’s interest”.

“Bypassing the Palestinian legitimacy that exists in Gaza is like walking to the wrong address … to hinder the reconstruction,” he said.

Some 87 countries, including the US, are participating in conference at Sharm al-Sheikh, Egypt, with pledging about $4.481 billion in aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA) to rebuild Gaza.

Hamas, which seized Gaza in 2007 after routing forces loyal to PA President Mahmoud Abbas, said the donors “must find a new and quick mechanism to send the aid directly to the Palestinian citizens without taking their political differences into consideration”.

“Our people’s blood cannot be bargained for reconstruction or politicised aid,” Barhoum stressed.

Israel, responding to Palestinian rocket fire form the salient, launched its 22-day offensive against militants in the Gaza Strip Dec 27.

Hundreds of Palestinians were killed in the Israeli air and ground attacks, and an estimated 1,400 homes and 65 public institutions were destroyed or damaged.

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