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Haniyeh: Israel is losing

GAZA, Jan. 7 (UPI) -- Ismail Haniyeh, the de facto prime minister of Gaza, says recent events in the Arab world mean Palestinians are winning their long struggle with Israel.

In an interview at his home, Haniyeh, a leader in Hamas, told Evgeny Lebedev, chairman of Britain's Evening Standard Ltd., Israeli leaders know "the strategic environment is changing."

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"Iran is an enemy. Relations are deteriorating with Turkey. With Egypt, they are really cold," he said. "Israel is in a security situation they have never been in before. The Palestinians are winning more than anybody else due to what's happening in the Arab countries. That will come out clearly in the future."

A senior Israeli Cabinet minister agreed, telling Lebedev the "Google kids" -- modernists who get attention in the West through their use of social media -- are a minority.

"I do not see anywhere in the Arab world where the Islamists will not take over," he said.

Haniyeh became prime minister of the Palestinian Authority after Hamas won parliamentary elections in 2006. Since 2007, Hamas has effectively controlled Gaza while the Fatah Party controls the West Bank.

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