News / Middle East

Hamas Leader: Gaza Conflict 'Milestone' to Reaching Objective

Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal holds a press conference in the Qatari capital Doha, Aug. 28, 2014.
Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal holds a press conference in the Qatari capital Doha, Aug. 28, 2014.
Reuters

Hamas will not cease resisting Israel until all its demands are met, the group's overall leader Khaled Meshaal said on Thursday, adding the latest Gaza conflict was only “a milestone to reaching our objective”.

Speaking at a news conference in Doha, where he lives in exile, Meshaal said the group would never give up its arms as part of any deal. He also said the group's military commander, caught earlier this month in an Israeli airstrike, was “fine”.

“You cannot contain the resistance, because the resistance is in our thoughts and in our souls ... our resistance will continue until all our demands are met and we are getting closer to victory and al-Quds [Jerusalem],” he said.

“This is not the end. This is just a milestone to reaching our objective. We know that Israel is strong and is aided by the international community. We will not restrict our dreams or make compromises to our demands,” Meshaal said.

Israel launched its assault on the Gaza Strip with the declared aim of stopping rocket attacks against Israel and destroying tunnels it said Hamas, which refuses to recognize Israel's right to exist, was using to infiltrate the country.

Hamas also called on Egypt to open the Rafah border crossing, as “a brotherly action”.

“The weapons of the resistance are sacred and we will not accept that it be up for negotiation,” Meshaal said. “There is no politics without resistance and there is no resistance without arms.

Both Israel and Egypt view Hamas as a security threat and are seeking guarantees that weapons will not enter Gaza, a narrow, densely-populated territory of 1.8 million people.

Speaking next to a large billboard with the slogan “A nation constructing its victory”, Meshaal presented the current Gaza truce as a victory for the Palestinian people.

“Our enemy only comes under pressure when they are under fire,” he said. “As our rockets hit them, they were forced to hold talks with us.”

Palestinian health officials say 2,139 people, most of them civilians, including more than 490 children, have been killed in the enclave since July 8, when Israel launched an offensive.

Israel's death toll stood at 64 soldiers and six civilians.

Hamas commander "fine"

An open-ended ceasefire, mediated by Egypt, took effect on Tuesday evening. It called for an indefinite halt to hostilities, the immediate opening of Gaza's blockaded crossings with Israel and Egypt, and a widening of the territory's fishing zone in the Mediterranean.

Under a second stage of the truce that would begin a month later, Israel and the Palestinians would discuss construction of a Gaza sea port and Israel's release of Hamas prisoners in the occupied West Bank, possibly in a trade for the remains of two Israeli soldiers believed held by Hamas, officials have said.

Israel has said it would facilitate the flow of more civilian goods and humanitarian and reconstruction aid into the impoverished territory if the truce was honored.

Meshaal described the condition of the group's military commander Mohammed Deif as “fine”, after what it terms an Israeli assassination attempt on him earlier this month.

Hamas' military wing, the Izz-el-Din al-Qassam Brigades, had said at the time that Israel had missed its target and that Deif's wife and seven-month-old son were killed in the attack.

Deif was widely believed to be masterminding the Islamist group's military campaign from underground bunkers.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has declined to say whether Israel had tried to kill Deif, but said militant leaders were legitimate targets and that “none are immune” from attack.

Meshaal said that his message to the international community was that Hamas was not against people of different religions.

“To the Jews of the world, I tell you we are not against you because of your religion. Our problem is with occupation and settlement,” he said.

Israel has said it dealt a strong blow to Hamas, killing several of its military leaders and destroying the Islamist group's cross-border infiltration tunnels.

But Israel also faced persistent rocket fire for nearly two months that caused an exodus from a number of border communities and disrupted daily life in its commercial heartland.

You May Like

Photogallery Oxfam: Ebola Could Be 'Disaster of Our Generation'

Meanwhile, Fidel Castro, the former leader of Cuba, says the Caribbean island nation will 'gladly cooperate' with the US in the fight against Ebola in West Africa More

Multimedia Kobani Fighting Sends 400,000 Refugees to Turkey

Refugees receive help from Turkish authorities and individuals, but say much more is needed More

India’s Ruling Nationalist Party Makes Gains in Regional Elections

Bharatiya Janata Party’s huge margin over its rivals puts it on course to form governments in the northern Haryana and western Maharashtra states More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Godwin from: Nigeria
August 29, 2014 1:55 PM
Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal said his organization will not cease resisting Israel until all its demands are met. We know its chief demand is that Israel should not exist, how does it want Israel to meet that demand? Maybe he’s not yet satisfied with the number of lives lost so far in the campaign, as another body of a dead teenager was picked yesterday in Jerusalem murdered the same way the earlier 3 were, which Khaled Meshaal said was his instigation/igniting of the intifada against Israel.

Are we about to see a resumption of the conflagration soon? If Meshaal will not give up arms, will Netanyahu give up demand for a demilitarized Gaza? The boast of Khaled Meshaal is the shame of Benjamin Netanyahu who failed to take the opportunity when it presented itself to neutralize Gaza and rid it of Hamas. I think Israel should be looking for a leader who knows the politics of Hamas and has a resolve to meet it head on.

Only killers, murderers stick to arms, and that is what Hamas is. That’s not why Israel should beg it to honor the cease fire which will after all be broken soon unless Israel opens up the sea port for Gaza through which to import all sorts of weapons to knell the state of Israel. It’s a pity, especially as Israel appears to be ruled by self serving leaders who do not understand the politics of Hamas to total destruction of Israel. I think Israel needs urgently to look for leaders who will save it and maintain its identity, because seems to me Israel is on its way out of existence – unless something is done urgently.

In Response

by: Leederman
August 30, 2014 12:23 AM
Thinking of what Israel needs to do is really of little consequence right now. The politics of Hamas and its infrastructure is understood by the Israeli Government, the IDF including Egypt and those countries that share its border.Irrespective of leadership, Israel will do what Israel must do, that you can be assured of. The pivotal turning point required here for peaceful coexistence, is the mindset change of Khaled Meshaal and his associates and the demilitarization of Haamas. Without this future conflict is inevitable.


by: Cecil
August 29, 2014 1:31 PM
The civillian population in Gaza suffered casualties and the destruction of their properties due to Hamas pursuing their own political and ideological agenda of hatred against Israel, which they have never "freed" themselves from. To this end Israel will at some stage have to prepare for an all out offensive and retake Gaza, and stabilize it. Unpalatable but true, given the verbal intention by the Hamas Chief "The weapons of the resistance.............. no resistance without arms?


by: Martha S. from: US
August 29, 2014 9:22 AM
how can you make "peace" with someone who "refuses to recognize your right to EXIST"...?? LOL - I am sorry but it just sound stupid to me... but then i must remember we are dealing with Arabs...

In Response

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
August 29, 2014 1:19 PM
Martha, your question should rather be, how does anyone claim to be human and delight in seeing many people killed - friends and foes? This man loves to see blood flowing freely everywhere, everyday, everytime. He is not a human being, even if he looks like one. Imagine how many Palestinians he killed by urging his militants to fire missiles from their midst. Imagine the cold blooded killing of 3 boys on his order - another one was killed just yesterday - are you aware? Imagine the number of people he has slaughtered like farm animals on the accusation they spy for Israel. See how he delights in trading/dealing in death. I bet he lives in Qatar of Turkey, nowhere else in the world is suitable for him unless swath valleys in Pakistan, Taliban areas, or ISIS headquarters.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fighti
X
Zana Omer
October 18, 2014 6:37 PM
The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Syrian Defector Leaks Shocking Photos of Torture Victims

Shocking photographs purporting to show Syrian torture victims are on display at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. The museum says the graphic images are among thousands of photographs recently smuggled out of Syria by a military policeman-turned-defector. As VOA reporter Julie Taboh reports, the museum says the photos provide further evidence of atrocities committed by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against its own people.
Video

Video Drought-Stricken California Considers Upgrading Water System

A three-year drought in California is causing a water shortage that is being felt on farms and cities throughout the state. As VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports, water experts, consumers and farmers say California needs to make changes to cope with an uncertain future.
Video

Video TechShop Puts High-tech Dreams Within Reach

Square, a business app and card reader, makes it possible to do credit card transactions through cell phones. But what made Square possible? VOA’s Adrianna Zhang and Enming Liu have the answer.
Video

Video Church for Atheists Goes Global

Atheists, by definition, do not believe in God. So they should have no need of a church. But two years ago, a pair of British stand-up comedians decided to create one. Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans told the BBC they envisioned “something like church but without God". Their “Sunday Assembly” movement has grown from a single congregation in London to dozens of churches around the world. Reporter Mike Osborne visited with the members of a Sunday Assembly that now meets regularly in Nashville.
Video

Video Robot Locates Unexploded Underwater Mines

Many educators believe that hands-on experience is the best way to learn. Proving that the method works is a project developed by a group of students at the Stevens Institute of Technology, in Hoboken, New Jersey. They rose up to a challenge posted by the U.S. Department of Defense and successfully designed and built an underwater robot for locating submerged unexploded ordnance. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's JFK Hospital Reopens After Temporary Ebola Exposure

JFK Hospital is Liberia’s largest and one of its oldest medical facilities. The hospital had to close temporarily following the deaths of two leading doctors from Ebola. It is now getting back on its feet, with the maternity ward being the first section to reopen. Benno Muchler has more for VOA News from Monrovia.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Expose Generation Gap

Most of the tens of thousands of protesters in Hong Kong are students seeking democracy. Idealistic youths say while the older generation worries about the present, they are fighting for the territory's future. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Hong Kong.
Video

Video Liberians Living in US Struggle From Afar as Ebola Ravages Homeland

More than 8,000 Liberians live in New York City, more than in any other city outside of Liberia itself. As VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports, with the Ebola virus ravaging their homeland, there is no peace of mind for these New Yorkers.
Video

Video Kurds See War-Ravaged Kobani As Political, Emotional Heartland

Intense fighting is continuing between Islamic State militants -- also known as ISIS or ISIL -- and Kurdish forces around the Syrian town of Kobani, on the Turkish border. The U.S. said it carried out at least nine airstrikes against Islamic State positions Friday. Meanwhile the U.N. has warned that hundreds of civilians would be massacred if the town falls to the militants. Henry Ridgwell looks at the strategic significance of the city.

All About America

AppleAndroid