Hamas Movement has rejected US President Donald Trump’s comments linking it to “terrorism” in his speech in Saudi Arabia, saying it shows his “complete bias” towards Israel.
“The statement describing Hamas as a terror group is rejected and is a distortion of our image and shows a complete bias to the Zionist occupation,” Hamas spokesman, Fawzi Barhoum, said in a statement on Sunday.
Barhoum dubbed the speech a “confirmation” that Trump is following the policy of previous US administrations.
Trump addressed the leaders of 55 Muslim countries in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and said they must take the lead in combating “radicalisation”.
“The true toll of ISIS [the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant], al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas, and so many others, must be counted not only in the number of dead.
“It must also be counted in generations of vanished dreams,” said Trump in the speech.
Hamas says its battle is against Israeli occupation, not the West.
The movement presented a new political charter earlier this month that accepts the formation of a Palestinian state along the 1967 borders, without recognising the statehood of Israel, and says that the conflict in Palestine is not a religious one.
Trump’s speech came on the second day of a visit to Saudi Arabia, part of Trump’s first foreign tour that will take him next to Israel and occupied Palestinian Territories and then to Europe.
Palestinian activists call for protests against Trump
Meanwhile, Palestinian activists have called for a “Day of Rage” when Trump visits the West Bank on Tuesday.
The protests will be organised by a group calling itself the Supreme National Leadership Committee, which includes various Palestinian political factions, including Abbas’s Fatah movement.
The demonstrations are meant to draw attention to a month-long hunger strike by hundreds of prisoners being held by Israel and to protest what many Palestinians say is unfair US support for Israel.
In a statement, the group said on Sunday the Palestinian factions “affirm their rejection of the American position, which is biased in favour of the occupation”.
Trump’s visit to Israel and occupied Palestinian territories on Monday and Tuesday will be closely scrutinised as he seeks ways to restart peace efforts.