Speaking at a conference in Qatar on Islamism and democracy Mashaal told the audience that Hamas tried “to combine resistance [against Israel] and governance” but its experience has largely failed and “should not be taken as a model unless for learning a lesson,” the Times of Israel reported, citing Saudi-owned daily A-Sharq Al-Awsat.
Mashaal is referring to Hamas’s rule over Gaza, which it violently seized from the Palestinian Authority in 2007. International demands have been placed on Hamas to force it to abandon terrorism and recognize peace agreements with Israel.
The Hamas chief announced recently that he is stepping down from the terrorist organization’s leadership over differences with its Gaza leadership. Mashaal had been Hamas’s leader “in exile” in Syria until the group abandoned its office in Syria for Qatar amid the violent civil war. Recently, an Iranian newspaper with ties to the government called Mashaal a “Zionist agent” and a “traitor” for abandoning Syria.