Ismail Haniyeh spoke to a cheering crowd of 5,000 in the Tunisian capital Sunday. He predicted difficult days ahead for Israel, which is grappling with how to respond to the Arab Spring, a series of popular uprisings that began in Tunisia a year ago.
“Israel no longer has allies in Egypt and in Tunisia, we are saying to the Zionist enemies that times have changed and that the time of the Arab Spring, the time of the revolution, of dignity and of pride has arrived,” AFP quoted him as saying to loud cheers.
“We promise you that we will not cede a single part of Palestine, we will not cede Jerusalem, we will continue to fight and we will not lay down our arms,” he said.
“To Tunisia we say: ‘It is us today who are going to build the new Middle East’.”
The rally, held at a sports stadium, was organized by the Islamist Ennahda party, which recently won Tunisian elections.
At one entrance, people walked over a piece of cloth sporting the Star of David, and many shouted anti-Israeli slogans.
But not heard was ‘Kill the Jews!’ a slogan used by ultraconservatives three days earlier upon Haniyeh’s arrival.