In a video address to a conference of the International Islamic Forum of Parliamentarians, held on November 24, 2023, during the current ceasefire in Gaza, Hamas' leader abroad Khaled Mash'al said that his movement's October 7 attack had shown Israel to be "as weak as cobwebs" and had defeated Israel on the psychological, military and intelligence levels. Promising that this defeat would "soon be completed," he added that today, after six weeks of fighting, Hamas' tunnels and munitions are still intact, and it "can still maneuver, fire rockets and hit invading tanks." These statements echoed claims made recently by Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, who said, citing Hamas political bureau head Isma'il Haniya, that Hamas had so far used only 10-12 percent of its capabilities and weapons.
Mash'al stated further that Hamas was following the example of the Prophet Muhammad, who preached the conquest of Byzantium and Persia even when he was besieged in Medina during the 627 Battle of the Trench. Mash'al advised Western statesmen to stop talking about Gaza after the collapse of Hamas and start thinking instead about the region after Israel's demise.
He also claimed that the kidnapping of Israeli civilians had not been one of the goals of Hamas' October 7 attack, a claim that is belied by the detailed written instructions provided to Hamas fighters before this attack, which clearly indicate that they were expected to kill and kidnap civilians, including children.
Khaled Mash'al (Image: Palinfo.com)
The following are excerpt from a report on Mash'al's address, posted on the Hamas-affiliated website Palinfo.com.
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"Hamas' leader abroad Khaled Mash'al said on Friday evening [November 24] … addressing a conference organized by the International Islamic Forum of Parliamentarians:… 'If the Algerians, the Afghans and the Vietnamese had listened to the defeatists who demanded that they surrender, Algeria, Afghanistan and Vietnam would have never liberated themselves from imperialism and occupation.' Mash'al noted that [Operation] Al-Aqsa Flood [i.e., the October 7 attack] had defeated the enemy on the psychological, military and intelligence levels, and that this defeat would soon be completed, Allah willing.' He [also] noted that the October 7 [attack] had proved it possible to defeat the terrorist Zionist occupation and had brought the justness of the Palestinian cause to the attention of the world…
"The Hamas leader stressed that, 'after 49 years of terrorist Zionist aggression, the resistance is in good condition, and although some of its fighters and commanders have been martyred, our tunnels, ammunition and weapons are still intact and we can still maneuver, fire rockets and hit invading tanks. We follow the example of our honorable Prophet,' he added, ' who was besieged during the Battle of the Trench but preached the conquest of Byzantium and Persia'…
"Mash'al went on to say: 'Some Western statesmen are discussing [the issue of] Gaza after Hamas, and I say to them: Save yourselves time and imaginary dreams. In a few years, Allah willing, you will have to discuss the situation in the region after Israel.' He added: 'We oppose the involvement of any international or Arab forces in governing Gaza, and our heroes in the resistance, headed by our victorious [military wing], the 'Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, will trample all these plans.'
"He clarified: 'On the first day [of the war] we expressed our willingness to release all the detained [Israeli] civilians, because the goals of the campaign did not include capturing them, but the circumstances of the campaign after the collapse of the occupation's Gaza Division led to this, and we have [already] released some of them. When we saw the viciousness of the terrorist [Israeli] attack,' he added, 'we decided that we must use this card in order to benefit the people of Gaza and ease [their suffering]'…
"He went on to say: 'Gaza needs military help, and the [Arab] nation must not remain an observer. It must contribute to [achieving the desired] outcomes in the battle'…
"Hamas' leader abroad concluded by saying: "We have exposed the truth about Israel, that it is as weak as cobwebs and needs others to defend it, not to mention [the falsity of the claim] that it can defend others or fight on their behalf.'"
 See MEMRI TV Clip No. 10670, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian: Hamas Is in a Good Place; Haniyeh Reassured Me that So Far, They Have Only Used 10-12% of Their Capabilities, Forces, and Weapons, November 24, 2023.
 On these guidelines see MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 10908, Hamas Documents Captured By Israel And Released By IDF Spokesman's Office Instruct Operatives To Kill And Take Hostage As Many Israeli Civilians As Possible, As Well As Soldiers, Take Over Kibbutzim And Communities Near Gaza Border, Search Schools And Youth Center, October 26, 2023.
 Palinfo.com, November 24, 2023.
 The Battle of the Trench weas fought in 627 between the Muslims in Medina and the Meccan Quraysh tribe, which was aided by several other tribes. The battle, called after the trenches dug by the Muslims to defend their city, ended in a Muslim victory.