Former Hamas leader calls for West Bank ‘guerrilla warfare’

Former Hamas leader Khaled Mashal calls for West Bank “guerrilla warfare,” states: “I resist, therefore I am.”

Former chairman of the Hamas Political Bureau Khaled Mashal said that resistance is the basis of day-to-day life for people under occupation, and that just as people say “I think, therefore I am,” the Palestinians say: “I resist, therefore I am.”

Explaining that the abandonment of jihad leads to humiliation and death, Mashal said that resistance is the pinnacle of life.

He criticized Fatah for not engaging in “resistance,” adding “the West Bank, which spans over 5,600 square kilometers, and which has mountains and valleys … has everything necessary for guerrilla warfare.” Mashal’s comments aired on Al-Jazeera Network (Qatar) on Dec. 2, 2018.

Khaled Mashal: “For peoples under occupation, resistance is the natural way of life. It is the basis of day-to-day life. This is because it is inconceivable that we live under daily suffering and all of its implications under occupation, without living our daily lives with the resistance. It is the natural and reciprocal response. Just like they say: ‘I think, therefore I am, as Palestinians and as a great nation that is creative when it comes to resisting, we say: ‘I resist, therefore I am.’


“The Koran goes even further than that by defining jihad, resistance and self-defense as the essence of life. ‘Oh you who believe, respond to Allah and to the Messenger, when he calls you to that which gives you life.’ Indeed, this is the case. The abandonment of Jihad leads to humiliation and death. Hence, resistance is the pinnacle of life. A person who lives under occupation, and who does not resist, is in fact dead.


“A country cannot be liberated and rights cannot be restored without resistance. It is not possible. Without resistance, the occupation cannot be defeated or forced to retreat. Every means of power must be put to use.


“When did Israel withdraw from southern Lebanon? It wasn’t a result of negotiations—not in Madrid and not in Washington. It retreated as a result of resistance. When did it retreat from Gaza? After the (Second) Intifada in 2000 and the heroic resistance. Today, we are being called and preparing to force Israel to retreat from Jerusalem and from the West Bank. Allah willing, this is on the way to its retreat from all of Palestine.


“Even (Fatah), when we talk about resistance, and they do not want armed resistance. … Maybe some of them agree to popular resistance. Fine. So why are you not engaged in popular resistance? Gaza, for example, has used each and every form of resistance. The West Bank spans over 5,600 square kilometers, and has mountains and valleys. I’m from there, I know the landscape. It has everything necessary for guerilla warfare. Why are we not preparing for that?”

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