Khaled Mashal, the terror group’s leader in Qatar claims victory in fiercest fighting enclave has seen since 2014; calls for West Bank intifada and accuses Netanyahu of launching campaign for his own legal and political interests

With a ceasefire set to begin Friday 2am after 11 days of fighting between Gaza and Israel, the Palestinian terror group that rules the enclave has already begun to dissect the events leading up to the heaviest round of violence since the 2014 war.

Hamas leader Khaled Mashal, who is based in Doha, told Qatari news outlet Al Jazeera on Thursday that Hamas had come out on top in the fighting.

Hamas' leader during a rally for the 25th anniversary of the terror group
Hamas’ leader during a rally for the 25th anniversary of the terror group (Photo: Reuters)


“Sure we fired rockets, but the Zionist enemy was the one who started this with its aggression at the al-Aqsa Mosque,” he said, referring to clashes at the Jerusalem site holy to both Jews and Muslims that preceded the conflict.

“Mohammed Deif [the leader of Hamas’ military wing] warned the Zionists to not play with fire in al-Aqsa and [the East Jerusalem neighborhood of] Sheikh Jarrah, but they chose not to listen,” Mashal said.

Palestinians clash with Israeli security forces at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City, May 10, 2021
Palestinians clash with Israeli security forces at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City, May 10, 2021 (Photo: AP)


According to Mashal, the rockets launched from Gaza at the Jerusalem area on May 10 were meant to convey several messages to Israel.

“Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa are our red line,” he said. “We all understand that these locations are close to our hearts. You cannot separate us [Palestinians] – we are all united in this issue.

“The people, Jerusalem and the holy places, the siege on Gaza and the right of return. From Al-Aqsa and Sheikh Jarrah, the campaign moved to the West Bank, into Israel and also to Gaza with our rockets. Until we are able to rid of the occupier completely.”

Khaled Mashal
Khaled Mashal (Photo: AFP)


“These people [Palestinians] will not stop fighting despite the difficult conditions,” Mashal said. “The Palestinian-Arab situation is very bad, but our people stick to their lands and rights and will continue the resistance.”

Mashal also stated that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “tried to take over Israel’s agenda so he would not be kicked out of power and be replaced by a different government, so he would not go to jail.”

“This will not happen at the cost of our blood,” he added. “The Zionists and their leadership will pay for this.”

בנימין נתניהו בביקור בבור בקריה, חמ"ל המבצעים של צה"ל בזמן מבצע שומר החומות
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends an assessment with IDF officials during the latest round of fighting in Gaza (Photo: GPO)


Another Hamas official speaking to Al Jazeera said that the organization “had achieved unprecedented support worldwide.”

“Though most messages from the international community are still pro-Israeli, the age of Trump has come to an end,” he said. “There is a crisis within U.S. politics, there are calls for a ceasefire within the American government.”

Asked what does Hamas expect after the fighting will be over, Mashal said: “We have entered a new phase. This is different from past rounds of fighting. The resistance in the land of Palestine has been able to lay the groundwork for a strategy to liberate Palestine and return to al-Aqsa. We bombed Tel Aviv, Ramon [Airport near Eilat] and all of Israel’s home front. The Zionist entity does not have an unbeatable army. Israel survives on external support.”

תקיפות צה"ל בעזה
The aftermath of an Israeli strike in Gaza during the latest round of fighting (Photo: AFP)


Mashal also called the Palestinians in the West Bank to “unite and start an intifada in all of Palestine,” and demanded the end of the Palestinian Authority’s security coordination with Israel.

“The issue of Jerusalem and al-Aqsa is enough to unite Arab leadership around us,” he said.

As reported by Ynetnews