By Ola Atallah
Khaled Meshaal, head of Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, urged U.S. President-elect Donald Trump on Thursday to reconsider longstanding U.S. policy vis-à-vis the Palestine/Israel dispute.
Speaking from Doha via video-conference, Meshaal made the appeal in a speech he delivered to the International Forum of Youth for Jerusalem held Thursday in Istanbul.
Addressing the U.S. president-elect, Meshaal said, "There can be no stability in the [Middle East] region without recognizing the rights of Palestine".
He added: "Now is the time to acknowledge that Israel has become a burden on you [the U.S.]... We call on you to treat fairly with the Palestinians and end your policy of overlooking Israel’s perpetual crimes."
"It would be wrong of Trump to give the green light to Israel to do as it pleases in Palestine… We urge him to reconsider his country's policy of unqualified bias towards Israel," Meshaal said.
Trump, the Republican party’s presidential nominee, decisively captured the White House on Wednesday, beating out Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.
The Hamas leader also urged Palestinians to come together in defense of Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque, asserting that Israel sought to change the city’s historical Arab and Islamic identity.
"We must work day and night for the cause of Jerusalem," he said. "The entire world must know that Jerusalem is the key to war and peace [in the region]."
On Tuesday, Israeli officials held a meeting of the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) to discuss proposals to reverse a longstanding ban on Jewish prayer in the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex.
In recent years, the Israeli authorities have allowed extremist Jewish settlers -- in growing numbers -- to enter the mosque complex, where they often perform prayers and Talmudic rituals.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.