Mishaal: The resistance defends its people and seeks no war
Head of Hamas’s political bureau Khaled Mishaal has said that his Movement is defending its own people and not seeking another war on the besieged Gaza Strip, stressing that what is happening in the West Bank is a popular uprising. Mishaal made his remarks during an interview conducted by France 24 satellite channel in Doha and televised on Monday night.
“We, in the Hamas Movement and as Palestinians, are not seeking a war. We suffer from the occupation. Israel threatens to wage a war on Gaza every once in a while, and it is besieging it and starving its population,” the Hamas official stated. Replying to a question about the Palestinian intifada (uprising), Mishaal stressed that it started after Israel escalated its aggressive practices against the Palestinians and their holy sites. He affirmed that the last attempt of Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu to divide the Aqsa Mosque was the spark that ignited the intifada in the West Bank and Jerusalem.
He also highlighted the right of the Palestinian people and their resistance to defend themselves and their homeland. “We are victims of aggression, whether from the Israeli army or armed settlers. There are 600,000 settlers in the West Bank and Jerusalem,” he said. “This is a defensive resistance and war. We are defending ourselves, our women, children, our land and holy sites.” “What are the Palestinian people supposed to do if there are still occupation on their land, growing settlement activity, and daily killing by soldiers and settlers in light of the world’s failure to convince the occupation to withdraw from the West Bank and Jerusalem, and lift its siege on Gaza,” he questioned.
“The Palestinian has no choice but to resist in order to force the occupation (Israel) to stop its aggression and end its occupation and settlement.” “I have told several leaders that there are two options before the Palestinians, either the international community helps them get rid of the occupation through pressuring Israel or supports their right to resist the occupation.” “This is a natural right and the world has to support us rather than blame us,” he underlined further. In another context, the Hamas leader reiterated his Movement’s position on the Palestinian Authority’s security cooperation with Israel, describing it as “contrary and detrimental to the national interest” and “a free service for the occupation.”
He said the security collaboration with Israel “does not serve the Palestinian people or the Palestinian Authority, and encourages more settlement expansion and aggression.” As for the inter-Palestinian reconciliation, he revealed preparations to hold another meeting soon with a delegation from Fatah and expressed his hope that the two sides would manage to overcome all obstacles.