In an interview that aired on CNN on Sunday afternoon, Khaled Meshaal, the so-called head of Hamas’s political wing, explained to CNN’s Nic Robertson his justification for taking on Israel despite having no clear military success and a high rate of civilian casualties.
Partial transcript as follows:
ROBERTSTON: Are you ready to stop building rockets? Are you ready to stop firing rockets?
MESHAAL: I will answer you. I will answer you. Why are there demands only on the Palestinian people to get rid of their modest and simple weapons but no similar demands on Israel, the occupying state? We are ready to discuss the removal of weapons.
ROBERTSON: But the Israelis say you’re firing them indiscriminately at Israeli civilians. That’s what you are using those weapons for. When they’re not firing at you, you’re firing at them.
MESHAAL: Israel is the one who started the aggression, and it is Israel who is killing civilians. I explained to you in details what Israel is doing in Gaza in killing civilians.
ROBERTSON: But there was a stability there, there was a stability. There was a period recently when there were no rockets.
MESHAAL: Unfortunately, the United States and the West and the western media have adopted the Israeli narrative.
ROBERTSON: Are you winning this war?
MESHAAL: Our steadfastness is itself a victory. For us to kill their soldiers while they kill our civilians is also a victory for the Palestinian cause and for Hamas.
ROBERTSON: How are you having a victory for your resistance for the cause when so many Palestinians are dying? How is that a victory? Your rockets aren’t striking the Israeli cities. You’ve killed a handful of Israeli soldiers. How are you winning? How is this a strategic victory?
MESHAAL: Our people are convinced today that the only way to get rid of the occupation and establish their state is through resistance like all of the people of the world have done — just like what the American people did when they got rid of the British occupation. And as the French did when they got rid of the Nazi occupation.
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