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Hamas leader: Israeli elections ‘diminish hopes for peace’

April 2, 2015 at 2:54 pm

Head of Hamas Political Bureau Khaled Meshaal has said that the results of the latest Israeli elections, which brought Benjamin Netanyahu to form a new government ‘will further diminish hopes for peace.’

Speaking to the BBC, Meshaal stated that the victory of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party and its right-wing allies meant there would be “more extremism”.

When asked whether his movement agrees on the two-state solution with Israel, he said ‘Israel with its extremist leadership has killed the peace process, the two-state solution and every opportunity of a political solution for the Palestinian cause.’

He insisted that his movement was not looking for any escalation, but would defend itself. ‘If there is occupation, aggression, war and killing.’

Meshaal replied on a question whether his movement’s activities were overshadowed with the activities of the extremist Jihadists, saying ‘Hamas is a model of an active resistance for a just cause –battling occupied with a moderate and open minded ideology.’

Condemning other so called jihadi groups such as Al Nusra and ISIS, he explained that ‘others are acting violently in the name of Jihad, this is not Islam.’

Regarding the people who do not believe that Hamas is a moderate organisation, Meshaal laughed and said that ‘the principles do not change. The people who laugh at Hamas should laugh at [Nelson] Mandela, the Vietnamese and what [Charles] de Gaulle did when he fought the Nazi occupation in WWII.’

‘They should laugh at George Washington who led the American Revolution. The people of the world have been liberating from occupiers. Palestinian people are doing the same and Hamas is doing the same.’

He mentioned that Netanyahu during his election campaign had pledged to ensure a Palestinian state would not be established.

In addition, prior to his victory in the elections, Netanyahu said ‘whoever moves to establish a Palestinian state or intends to withdraw from territory is simply yielding territory for radical Islamic terrorist attacks against Israel.’

Asked if that meant a state would not be established if he remained prime minister, he said: ‘Indeed.’

During a visit to the illegal Israeli settlement of Har Homa in the occupied East Jerusalem, Netanyahu vowed to preserve Jerusalem’s unity ‘in all its parts’ and said he would ‘continue to build and fortify’ the city to prevent any future division.