Ismail Haniyeh speaks during a meeting in Tunis
Ismail Haniyeh speaks during a meeting in front of supporters of the Islamist Ennahda movement party in Tunis

Invited to Tunisia by leaders of the Ennahda party, Hamas Prime Minister, Ismail Haniyeh vowed to continue the armed struggle against Israel.

Speaking to a 5000-strong crowd in the country's capital of Tunis, Haniyeh attempted to link the Arab Spring to anti-Zionist feelings.

"Israel no longer has allies in Egypt and in Tunisia, we are saying to the Zionist enemies that times have changed and that the time of the Arab Spring, the time of the revolution, of dignity and of pride has arrived," AFP quoted him as saying to loud cheers.

"We promise you that we will not cede a single part of Palestine, we will not cede Jerusalem, we will continue to fight and we will not lay down our arms," he said.

"To Tunisia we say: 'It is us today who are going to build the new Middle East'."

Haniyeh's visit to Tunisia came amid tensions as the country prepares for the anniversary of the January 14 revolution.

A year after the start of the Arab Spring, Tunisia is still battling economic problems such as unemployment and poverty.

Last week, a man set himself on fire in the south, with media reporting his act was motivated by economic problems, a move reminiscing of Mohamed Bouazizi self-immolation which acted as a catalyst for the mass protests that led to the stepping down of former President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali.