Hamas Vows to Keep Power, Won't Recognize Israel

Hamas will not be pushed out of power, accept compromise or recognize Israel, a combative Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas told a mass rally Friday.

Haniyeh ruled out the latest compromise proposal, a government of technocrats. The idea had been floated by senior Hamas members, as a way of winning international support and ending a seven-month aid freeze.

"There are new scenarios, such as an emergency government, a technocrat government, or early elections," Haniyeh told tens of thousands of supporters. "They all aim for one thing, getting Hamas out of the government."

Haniyeh reiterated that Hamas is willing to bring more parties into the government, but said the Islamic militant group would not soften its positions. The international community demands that Hamas recognize Israel, renounce violence and accept existing peace agreements.

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"We say we will be in every government, we will stay in the government," he said. "We will not recognize Israel."

Haniyeh urged moderate President Mahmoud Abbas to return to Gaza to resume coalition talks. Abbas said earlier this week that the talks had collapsed and accused Hamas on reneging on an earlier coalition deal.

Haniyeh accused the international community of trying to impose its will on Hamas.

"They want a government with American and Israeli dimensions that implements external dictation, the so-called Quartet demands," he said, referring to the group of Mideast peacemakers — the U.S., the U.N., the EU and Russia.