Khaled Meshaal, former Head of Hamas Political Bureau, said that the Palestinian people reject economic development by the principles of economic peace imposed by the Israeli occupation, stressing on the importance of building a national economy. During his participation in the activities of the mini Kuala Lumpur Islamic Summit 2019 in the Malaysian capital, with a working paper entitled "The Role of Politics in Development in Light of Hamas's Experience," Meshaal insisted on the importance of building an independent national economy for the peoples living under occupation.
"Those who take control of their economy own their political decision. Our Palestinian people reject economic peace, and it is not looking for it under the Israeli occupation," added Meshaal, stressing that development in independent countries is different from that of occupied peoples.
He said in his speech, followed up by Felesteen Online: "Development requires a decision and political will, and if these are not available, there would be no development. All countries that have will and decisions progress and compete, and if they do not have these, they are considered backward countries." He also insisted: "Decide for yourself; either you become developing, then a developed and then a competing country, or you remain a backward country."
On the siege of Gaza, Meshaal said: "We decided not to be defeated or surrender to the siege. We have made our missiles and created an economy of steadfastness. Israel is now unable to defeat the Palestinian people in Gaza. This is a decision of people who were on the level of a challenge."
Meshaal continued: "The occupation does not give peoples real development; it rather destroys and kills life (..). Our Palestinian people are not looking for luxury, but rather for an economy, steadfastness and a decent life granting them the minimum standards of living. This decent life will give the people of Palestine in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, occupied Jerusalem and the occupied interior, the minimum living standards that will help them to survive so that they do not have to emigrate, searching for a livelihood, or leave their priorities in the resistance and struggle."
Meshaal praised the role of Palestinian educational institutions that "have become a weapon in the face of the Israeli occupation," saying: "Illiteracy is almost zero in Palestine and the greatest investment for the Palestinian father is educating of his children because education is a weapon in the face of the occupation."
Meshaal appreciated the role of Palestinian women in the development of the Palestinian society, describing her role as struggling and combating. "Women are part of the natural development of the Palestinian society, and their role under occupation increasingly grows. They represent half of society like any other place," said Meshaal, adding: "Palestinian women exercise two important roles in addition to being half of society. The first is struggle and resistance, as they are martyrdom seekers. They prepare martyrdom seekers, and they exercise their resistance role. Their second role is that they replace men such as the father, brother or son, in case they are martyred, imprisoned or fugitive." Meshaal also stressed that it is essential that the essence of development for the peoples under occupation to be patriotism and the combating of any external danger, such as the blockade to which the Gaza Strip was exposed, or the European Union's attempt to impose the Quartet's conditions on Hamas.
Malaysia is hosting the mini Kuala Lumpur Islamic Summit 2019 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre in the Malaysian capital, between 18 and 21 December. Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Bin Mohamad called for this summit to discuss a new strategy to deal with issues facing the Islamic world.
The summit is attended by the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, as well as officials from other Islamic countries and a leadership delegation from the Hamas movement.
On Wednesday, a Hamas leadership delegation, headed by the member of the Political Bureau, Mousa Mohammed Abu Marzook, arrived in Kuala Lumpur to participate in the summit. The delegation includes members of the movement's Political Bureau, Khalil Al-Hayya, Izzat Al-Risheq, Husam Badran, and the movement's leaders, Sami Abu Zuhri, Osama Hamdan and Jamal Issa.
The summit is also attended by about 450 participants, including scholars, thinkers and official representatives of about 52 countries. The summit's sessions will cover several axes related to development, national sovereignty, good governance, security, trade, investment and technology.