Thursday, July 12, 2007


Meshaal Asserts Hamas's Steadfastness

Ma'an News Agency: Bethlehem - Ma'an - Khalid Mash'al, the Damascus-based head of Hamas' politburo, has asserted on Thursday the Hamas' movement's steadfastness and determination to prevail in the face of any attempts to sideline them.

He assured that the Hamas movement is not facing a dilemma regarding its future, following its overthrow of the Palestinian Authority institutions in the Gaza Strip three weeks ago.

"We are not in a dilemma, and let those who are counting on that wait one or two months or even a year," Mash'al said. "Let those who want to gamble and sustain the Palestinian schism be responsible for their position, yet they will never succeed as they have selected the wrong track which will lead them to the wrong results."

Mash'al asserted that all wars waged against Hamas and the Palestinian people would not work. "The names and the plans which the US and Israeli occupation counted on have gone with the wind, and the Palestinian legitimacy is not determined by the US and Israel, nor will it be determined by suspending the law or through deception," Mash'al explained.

In a statement distributed by Hamas' politburo, Mash'al stated that his movement is used to coping with hard conditions, and those who plan to punish the people through basic issues such as salaries must be ready for the consequences. He was referring to the Palestinian president's decision to suspend the salaries of Hamas-affiliated civil servants.

With regards to the security issue, Mash'al stressed that control of Palestinian security should be in Palestinian hands, and be free from factional interests.

"We want security for all, and the headquarters belong to the Palestinian people," Mash'al asserted. "The security services must be reformed and restructured in order to help the Palestinian homeland and to come under the command of the Palestinian Authority, without partiality. The leaders of those security services have to be decent men, who do not sign agreements with the Israeli occupation or betray the people. We do not look forward to any proportional divisions."

Mash'al also denied President Abbas' claims that Hamas has links to the Al-Qaeda network. "This is unreasonable, and any sane man can determine the invalidity of that," Mash'al said. He added that the Israeli media was behind the promotion of that idea and the incitement against Hamas.

With regards to the criticism of Hamas by Ayman Zawahiri, Al-Qaeda's number two, Mash'al said: "May god forgive him. Hamas will not lose its balance, and we stated clearly that we would respect any dignitary that Israel and the US antagonize, and so, we will not respond to Zawahiri's criticism."

He added, "We are self-confident and we ask Zawahiri to be merciful with Hamas, which is an original movement that does not bargain and looks forward to restoring the holy places through resistance."

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