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

Yemen Brings US, Iran Closer to Naval Face-off

US sending two more ships to waters off coast of Yemen to take part in 'maritime security operations' More

Minorities Become Majority Across US

From 2000 to 2013, minorities became the majority in 78 counties in the United States. Here's where those demographic shifts are happening More

Japan's Maglev Train Breaks Own Speed Record

Seven-car 'magnetic levitation' train traveled at more than 600 kilometers per hour during test run Tuesday 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.
New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Paini
X
Shelley Schlender
April 20, 2015 7:03 PM
Pain has a purpose - it can stop you from touching a flame or from walking on a broken leg. As an injury heals, the pain goes away. Usually. But worldwide, one out of every five people suffers from pain that lasts for months and years, leading to lost jobs, depression, and rising despair when medical interventions fail or health experts hint that a pain sufferer is making it up. From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video Hope, Prayer Enter Fight Against S. Africa Xenophobia

South Africa has been swept by disturbing attacks on foreign nationals. Some blame the attacks on a legacy of colonialism, while others say the economy is to blame. Whatever the cause, ordinary South Africans - and South African residents from around the world - say they're praying for the siege of violence to end. Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Italy Rescues Migrants After Separate Deadly Capsize Incident

Italy continued its massive search and rescue operation in the Mediterranean Monday for the capsized boat off the coast of Libya that was carrying hundreds of migrants, while at the same time rescuing Syrian migrants from another vessel off the coast of Sicily. Thirteen children were among the 98 Syrian migrants whose boat originated from Turkey on the perilous journey to Europe.
Video

Video New Test Set to Be Game Changer in Eradicating Malaria

The World Health Organization estimates 3.4 billion people are at risk of malaria, with children under the age of five and pregnant women being the most vulnerable. As World Malaria Day approaches (April 25), mortality rates are falling, and a new test -- well into the last stage of trials -- is having positive results in Kenya. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA from Nairobi.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Military Action to Stabilize Libya

Thousands more migrants have arrived on the southern shores of Italy from North Africa in the past two days. Authorities say they expect the total number of arrivals this year to far exceed previous levels, and the government has said military action in Libya might be necessary to stem the flow. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Putin Accuses Kyiv of ‘Cutting Off’ Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual televised call-in program, again denied there were any Russian troops fighting in Ukraine. He also said the West was trying to ‘contain’ Russia with sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports on reactions to the president’s four-hour TV appearance.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Xenophobic Violence Sweeps South Africa

South Africa, long a haven for African immigrants, has been experiencing the worst xenophobic violence in years, with at least five people killed and hundreds displaced in recent weeks. From Johannesburg, VOA’s Anita Powell brings us this report.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Badly Burned Ukrainian Boy Bravely Fights Back

A 9-year-old Ukrainian boy has returned to his native country after intensive treatment in the United States for life-threatening burns. Volodia Bubela, burned in a house fire almost a year ago, battled back at a Boston hospital, impressing doctors with his bravery. Faith Lapidus narrates this report from VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko.
Video

Video US Maternity Leave Benefits Much Less Than Many Countries

It was almost 20 years ago that representatives of 189 countries met at a UN conference in Beijing and adopted a plan of action to achieve gender equality around the world. Now, two decades later, the University of California Los Angeles World Policy Analysis Center has issued a report examining what the Beijing Platform for Action has achieved. From Los Angeles, Elizabeth Lee has more.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.

VOA Blogs