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Last Updated: Friday, 6 October 2006, 14:49 GMT 15:49 UK
Palestinian PM collapses at rally
Ismail Haniya at Gaza rally 06-10
Ismail Haniya again said Hamas would not recognise Israel
Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniya has collapsed while addressing tens of thousands of supporters at a rally in the Gaza Strip.

He resumed his speech a few minutes later, saying: "Our bodies can get tired, but our soul will not."

Mr Haniya, 43, has been observing the Muslim daytime Ramadan fast.

The PM, who is locked in a power struggle with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, said he would not be pushed from power or recognise Israel.

He said recognising Israel would "amount to renouncing the land of our ancestors".

Party clashes

Speaking on a hot autumn day at an outdoor stadium in Gaza City, Mr Haniya began to slur his speech before he started to fall and was helped to the ground by bodyguards.

Aides then helped him to a chair to recover and tried to cool him.

Rally in Gaza 06-10
The rally was a show of support in Hamas' struggle with Fatah

He soon continued his address, saying: "We will not stop our steadfastness."

The rally came after Mr Abbas - a member of the rival party, Fatah - threatened on Wednesday to dissolve Mr Haniya's government.

The pair have been locked in a bitter power struggle since the collapse of talks aimed at forming a unity government.

It had been hoped a unity government would lead to the lifting of Western sanctions imposed because of the refusal of Hamas to recognise Israel and renounce violence.

But Mr Haniya told his supporters: "We will stay in the government. We will not recognise Israel."

In the wake of protests last week by armed forces loyal to Fatah, Mr Haniya said there was "a form of a mutiny against the government".

In the past week, some 15 people have been killed in clashes involving Hamas and Fatah supporters.

"Any government that faced what we have faced would have fallen in the first or second month. Why has it not fallen? Because it gets its strength from God," Mr Haniya said.


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Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniya collapses





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