Hamas says Trump smeared Palestinian 'resistance'

2017-05-22 16:51
Hamas Supreme Leader Ismail Haniyeh announces the arrest of a suspect who allegedly shot dead Mazen Faqha. (Adel Hana, AP)

Hamas Supreme Leader Ismail Haniyeh announces the arrest of a suspect who allegedly shot dead Mazen Faqha. (Adel Hana, AP)

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Gaza City - Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas accused US President Donald Trump on Monday of smearing the name of Palestinian "resistance" to Israeli occupation during a speech on Islam.

Addressing Muslim leaders in Riyadh on Sunday, Trump called for unity against "Islamic terror", specifically naming Hamas and the ISIS group.

Hamas spokesperson Fawzi Barhum said Trump's remarks were "aimed at besmirching the reputation of the Palestinian resistance".

The movement refused to be treated as a "terrorist" organisation, he said.

Senior Hamas official Mushir al-Masri said Trump was "aligning himself with the policies of the [Israeli] occupier".

In his speech, Trump called on Muslim leaders to confront "the crisis of Islamic extremism and the Islamists and Islamic terror of all kinds".

He specifically named Sunni jihadist groups ISIS, al-Qaeda and Lebanon's armed Shiite movement Hezbollah alongside Hamas.

Hamas used force to seize control of the Gaza Strip from secular Palestinian rivals in 2007 after winning an election.

It is considered a terrorist organisation by the US, the EU and Israel, with which it has fought three wars in the Gaza Strip since 2008.

Trump arrived in Israel on Monday and is due to hold talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu later on Monday.

He is to meet Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas on Tuesday as he seeks ways to restart moribund Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts.

Read more on:    hamas  |  donald trump  |  us  |  israel

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