Chairman of the political bureau of Hamas Khaled Meshaal said he held Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responsible for the military escalation in the West Bank, stressing that his movement “has no information that proves or disproves its responsibility” for the kidnapping of three Israeli settlers in Hebron last week.
In an interview with Al-Jazeera yesterday, Meshaal said that Israel is unjustly jailing hundreds of Palestinians without any charges. “If Netanyahu had responded to the calls of hunger striking prisoners and their suffering, we would not have reached this point.
“Israel has to pay for its aggressions, assaults and arrogance,” he added.
Meshaal accused Israeli settlers in the West Bank of “spreading corruption in the land”, pointing out that what happened came in the context of the hunger strikes at Israeli administrative jails.
He added that kidnapped settlers “went missing in the West Bank, which is occupied by settlers in violation of international laws.”
He emphasised that “armed resistance” is a “strategic option” adopted by Hamas.
“Palestinians’ only dream is to end occupation,” he said.
“We are not intimidated by Israeli threats. Israel has been committing crimes for over 60 years and the international community has done nothing to stop its massacres,” he continued.
Meshaal criticised security coordination with the Israeli occupation, stressing that political and security coordination should be among Palestinians rather than with occupation. “The duty of security personnel is to protect the Palestinian citizen, and to resist occupation,” he added.
Stressing that Palestinian reconciliation has been and is still necessary, he called for the removal of all barriers that undermine it, and for Israeli and international warnings to be ignored.
He also called for “drawing a joint national strategy for struggle,” and “continuing the battle internationally by joining all international treaties and prosecuting the leaders of occupation for their crimes.”
The chairman called for “holding an urgent meeting for all Palestinian leaders at home and abroad to explore means to confront the arrogant occupation.”
“Most Palestinian factions reject negotiations and security coordination,” he said.
Regarding a potential war on Gaza, Meshaal said: “No leader wishes to involve his people in war, but if we are forced to go to war, the resistance knows how to deal with such crises, as it did before.”