Khaled Meshaal: In His Own Words

CEP Research Analyst


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As the chief of Hamas’s political bureau, Khaled Meshaal is arguably the most powerful leader in the Hamas organization. Meshaal lives openly in Doha, Qatar, uninhibited by Israeli travel restrictions. Meshaal reportedly “sets the strategy…. [and calls] the shots.” He is considered Hamas’s public face and has raised significant funds for the group. Despite the perception in some circles that Meshaal is a more moderate, exclusively political actor within Hamas, his political and ideological views as expressed “in his own words” paint a different picture.  

"Palestine is ours from the river to the sea and from the south to the north. There will be no concession on an inch of the land…. we will never recognise the legitimacy of the Israeli occupation and therefore there is no legitimacy for Israel, no matter how long it will take." -December 8, 2012 public speech in Gaza

"We have been resisting for one hundred years and will continue to resist." –October 17, 2014 official statement from Doha

“The weapons of Palestinian resistance were partially manufactured inside the Gaza Strip, and the rest was supplied by certain countries, including Iran.” -November 2012 remark to journalists in Cairo

"Al-Aqsa is worth us becoming martyrs for, and anyone who can carry a weapon in the region should go and defend it, as this is the true meaning of jihad." –October 17, 2014 official statement from Doha

“We agree on the [Palestinian] state with the borders of June 4, 1967, Jerusalem as its capital, fully sovereign without settlements, the right of return, but without the recognition of Israel.” -March 2008 remark from a news conference in Damascus

"Israeli stubbornness, combined with the international impotence in solving the Palestinian issue with a just solution…this will lead to chaos in the region, not just in the Palestinian arena, but an open conflict  —  a bloodbath.” –December 4, 2014 interview with Sky News

"One of the rare occasions when a synagogue was targeted" was caused by "extreme anger…. [the terrorists] not having hope on the horizon for a just settlement of the Palestinian cause. When the public anger reaches its limit, it explodes on its own…” December 4, 2014 interview with Sky News

“You are right if you are in a stable, free land. You cannot achieve democracy by use of force. But our struggle is against occupation. It is not a struggle for democracy, but for national liberation." -August 25, 2014 remark from interview with Al Monitor

“So every single Palestinians can die for the next generations to live in peace and freedom.” -July 28, 2014 remark from interview with Charlie Rose

“We will not rest until we liberate the prisoners. The way we freed some of the prisoners in the past is the way we will use to free the remaining prisoners," [in reference to prisoner exchanges for kidnapped Israeli soldiers.] -December 8, 2012 public speech in Gaza

"This is the time for the third uprising... Resistance will continue through suicide missions." -December 27, 2008 speech

“[W]e believe the Holocaust was exaggerated by the Zionist movement to whip people… We don't accept the exaggerating of numbers and we don't accept that Israel uses this to do what it wants.” -March 2008 remark from an interview in Damascus with Sky News

“…. there is no recognition of Israel, no matter what the cost is." -February 21, 2006 speech at Tehran University

 “…it is necessary to scientifically analyze the event and determine the scope of the Holocaust.” -February 6, 2006 interview with Der Spiegel

“Before Israel dies, it must be humiliated and degraded. Allah willing, before they die, they will experience humiliation and degradation every day. … Allah willing, we will make them lose their eyesight, we will make them lose their brains.” -February 3, 2006 address at as Damascus mosque

“We have no doubt that victory will come, and that just as we liberated Palestine from the Crusaders and from the Mongols, we will regain it – pure and purified - from the Zionist occupiers.” -December 30, 2005 remark at rally in Damascus

“We say to this West, which does not act reasonably, and does not learn its lessons: By Allah, you will be defeated…” -February 3, 2006 address at Damascus mosque

“America will be defeated in Iraq. Wherever the [Islamic] nation is targeted, its enemies will be defeated, Allah willing. The nation of Muhammad is gaining victory in Palestine. The nation of Muhammad is gaining victory in Iraq, and it will be victorious in all Arab and Muslim lands.” -February 3, 2006 address at Damascus mosque