Important takeaways from Hamas's Khaled Meshaal's latest interview - TAHA KILINÇ

Important takeaways from Hamas's Khaled Meshaal's latest interview

Khaled Meshaal (born in 1956), a Hamas leader, gave his most comprehensive interview with Al Jazeera since he handed over the presidency of the Political Bureau to Ismail Haniyeh in 2017. In an interview published last week, Meshaal spoke to one of the channel's well-known announcers, Ola Al-Fares,

He answered all sorts of questions about Hamas and the details of his personal life. Mishaal was introduced as the head of the "diaspora office."


Since Khaled Meshaal is still an essential and active representative in the Middle East arena, his statements go beyond ordinary ones. That is why I will share the highlights of the interview, which I watched carefully, in the form of direct quotes, with some disposition necessary for writing:


"My father, Hajj Abd al-Rahim Meshaal, participated in the struggle against the British Mandate since the second half of the 1930s. He was one of the comrades-in-arms of the martyr Abd al-Qadir al-Husayni. I often listened to their memories of the war. Our village Silwad was famous for its fighters."


"When Israel occupied our area in 1967, we crossed the Jordan River with my family through the King Hussein Bridge, which was later bombed. I also remember my mother taking some simple things as souvenirs from our village of Silwad when we went to Kuwait."


“When Israel tried to assassinate me on September 25, 1997, in the Jordanian capital Amman, King Hussein called US President Bill Clinton directly and told Clinton that Jordan would spoil the peace agreement it had signed with Israel unless the antidote was sent to Amman. King Hussein did this because he did not want Jordanian territory to become an area of Israeli operations. I survived the assassination attempt, but was denied martyrdom.”


"Some countries are in direct talks with us. Others prefer clandestine communications. The majority are in contact with us through intermediaries. I cannot reveal the identity of those who prefer to hide it, they do it because they fear American pressure."


"Every time Israel tries to destroy us, we become stronger. And every time it tries to defeat us, it finds itself defeated. The State of Israel is as fragile as a spider's web."


“It is sad that Palestine is fragmented from within as well. Although there have been many attempts to agree with the Fatah movement, no progress has been made. This can be traced back to two reasons: firstly, external interference. Secondly, the unwillingness of the other side to work with us.”


"We had differences with the martyr Yasser Arafat. But Arafat later realized that the Oslo Accords were useless and stood by the resistance. He showed outstanding leadership in the second intifada."


“Saudi Arabia has no good reason to change its attitude towards us. Hamas has not broken any of the promises it made to its Arab brothers. There are now more than 60 of our members currently imprisoned in Saudi Arabia. Why? I cannot find an explanation for it. We cannot participate in an internal conflict in any Arab country.


"The Muslim Brotherhood movement has its own ideology and approach, but every region has its own approach. It is true that we are a movement that emerged from the Brotherhood, but our approach and priorities focus entirely on the Palestinian issue. We are an Islamic and national movement."


"Our exit from Syria after 2011 was based on two reasons: First, the Hamas leaders in Damascus were not safe. Second, we did not want to stand with the government against the people, nor to engage in an armed struggle against the government."


"Our exit from Syria affected our relations with Iran. They criticized us on this issue, and we in turn gave our explanations. Despite that, our relations with Iran were never severed."


Our relations with Iran or any other country in the region are based on the support we receive in resisting occupation. Being in contact and having a relationship with a country does not mean that we are not independent in our decisions or that we do not prioritize the interests of Palestine. And our relationship with any country does not mean that we agree on that country's policies on other issues."


"Sometimes some tell me that So-and-so is exploiting the Palestinian cause, that's why they are with you. I tell them that since they serve our cause, this is for our benefit, even if their goal is ultimately to seek to exploit."

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