Meshal: Jerusalem Violence 'Spontaneous Reaction to Loss of Hope'

Hamas political leader warns that failure to deal with the root causes of the violence could lead 'to an open conflict - a bloodbath.'

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Haaretz
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Khaled Meshal, head of Hamas' political bureau.
Khaled Meshal, head of Hamas' political bureau.Credit: Reuters
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Haaretz

The persistent state of violence in Jerusalem in recent months is a spontaneous reaction to Palestinian loss of hope, Hamas political leader Khaled Meshal said on Friday.

"The Palestinian people no longer have anything to lose in light of the continuation of the occupation and settlements, stealing the land, the attacks on the women and children and the holy sites," Meshal said, in an interview with Sky News from his base in Qatar. "The reaction is spontaneous."

Meshal, who heads the Hamas political bureau, warned that the anarchy in Jerusalem could "lead to chaos in the region, not just in the Palestinian arena, but to an open conflict - a bloodbath."

Palestinian youth in the neighborhoods of East Jerusalem have been in a state of rebellion ever since the abduction of three Israeli youths in the West Bank in June and the subsequent abduction and murder of a Palestinian youth by Israeli extremists.

The situation has been exacerbated by several acts of terror against Israelis in the capital, the Jewish occupation of buildings in Arab areas and attempts by right-wing Jewish activists to pray on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

"We warn against keeping the Palestinian issue with no solution and stripping the Palestinian people of hope" Meshal said.

"Those betting on a security solution for stopping the resistance, by hunting its leadership and blocking weapons coming to its fighters, through the security cooperation of the Palestinian Authority with the Israelis, with regional and international cooperation - all of this has proven useless.

"Because when public anger reaches its limit it explodes on its own, and expresses itself in ways that surprises everyone."

Meshal maintained that Hamas was committed to the goal of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders - a policy that he said was enshrined in its reconciliation agreements with Fatah and other factions - but that it would continue "armed-resistance" until that goal was achieved.

He also said that Hamas remained committed to reconciliation with the Fatah party of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, despite recent tensions between the parties.

"The world has started understanding the justice of the Palestinian cause," Meshal said of the motions in the United Kingdom and French parliaments supporting the establishment of a Palestinian state.

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