Following are excerpts from a public address delivered by Hamas Leader Khaled Mash'al, which aired on Al-Quds TV on January 21, 2009:
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"This Is The First War That Our People Has Won On Its Land... Therefore, The Gaza War is a Turning Point in the Struggle With The Zionist Enemy"
Khaled Mash'al: "Yes, Gaza emerged victorious. Yes, the enemy has failed, and the resistance has emerged victorious, and with it, our people and our nation have emerged victorious. Allah be praised, our victory in Gaza was greater and clearer than the false claims of the aggressors, and than the doubts cast by the collaborators, and by those who have forsaken us. Does it not suffice that the goals of the enemy have not been accomplished? It has failed on the ground, just as it has failed politically. Ultimately, after three weeks, it was forced to declare a unilateral cease-fire and withdrawal, without any agreement or terms that bind or limit the resistance.
"This is the first war that our people has won on its land – the first real large-scale war. Therefore, the Gaza war is a turning point in the struggle with the Zionist enemy. With its significance, its accomplishments, its timing, and its greatness, it serves as a cornerstone for an effective and serious strategy for liberation, which begins in Palestine, and will continue everywhere, with the support of the nation." [...]
"Compensation For Your Blood And Souls You Will Get From Allah... In Paradise"
"We will bear our responsibility vis-a-vis the displaced. Allah willing, we will give you all shelter. We will compensate you with what we can, but compensation for your blood and souls you will get from Allah, in the World to Come, in Paradise.
"Your brothers in the Hamas movement, and in the government of my brother Haniya, as well as all the honorable national and Islamic leaders, have already begun working to accomplish this project – the project of rebuilding, housing, compensating, and treating the wounded. We have contacted several countries, some of which we even visited. Everybody is working like in a beehive for your sake.
"There are two tracks with regard to our role in this plan. In the urgent track – to the families of the martyrs and the wounded, and to the displaced families who have lost their homes, we will give specific sums of money, the details of which I leave to the government of my brother Haniya. We will also treat the wounded. This is the urgent track. The subsequent track will include a reconstruction plan, with which we will compensate you for all that has happened, and rebuild what was destroyed." [...]
"I Say to [The Arab Countries], Regarding the Money [Donated]...: Scrutinize Carefully Into Whose Hands You Place It"
"I say to [the Arab countries], regarding the money [donated] on behalf of your countries and good peoples: Scrutinize carefully into whose hands you place it. Do not place it in the hands of the corrupt people. There are two options: Either give it to the legitimate government of my brother Ismail Haniya in Gaza – an honest government with proven experience in serving the people – and they will lead the reconstruction under your supervision, or carry it out yourselves, through companies from your own countries, funds and institutions from your own countries, or any method you choose. You yourselves take over the reconstruction plans. But today, no Palestinian – and I believe that no none among your own peoples – will accept that this money be placed in the hands of the corrupt people. You know the truth. You have vast experience in that." [...]
"Some Say: What Kind Of Victory Is This, With All The Destruction... To Them, We Say: Was There Ever A People That Was Liberated Without Casualties?"
"Some say: What kind of victory is this, with all the destruction? Some people have emerged from the holes in which they hid during the war. They were afraid of the war, so they lowered their voices, fearing the rage of the Arab, Islamic, and Palestinian masses. Today, they have begun croaking like ravens, saying: Hamas should see what has befallen our land.
"To them, we say: Was there ever a people that was liberated without casualties? Take a look at history. This is important, and should reach the whole world. Large cities in the world were destroyed and rebuilt. These cities suffered great destruction. What happened to London in World War II? What happened to Paris? What happened in Hanoi, in Leningrad, and in Stalingrad? What happened to you, my brothers from the factions that have a history in Lebanon? What happened to Beirut? Beirut was not your land. You were guests there. Nevertheless, you fought for 88 days. So why do you pin your opposition to the steadfastness in Gaza on the destruction, the killings, and the massacres, even though you allowed yourselves to go on for all those days in Beirut in 1982?" [...]
"Who Does the British People Respect More – Churchill, Who Fought the Nazis, or Chamberlain, Who Appeased Hitler?"
"Who does the British people respect more – Churchill, who fought the Nazis, or Chamberlain, who appeased Hitler? Does the French people respect De Gaulle, who from London continued his resistance to the Nazis in France, or General Petain, the leader of the Vichy government, which resembles more than anything the [Palestinian] 'Autonomy' Authority. Only the honorable are recorded in history in letters of light.
"To those who appease [the enemy], under the pretext of avoiding casualties, we say that victory can only be achieved through blood. In 1940, Churchill, who is not considered a terrorist by today's criteria, because he had European blood in his veins, said to British people as soon as he took power in 1940: I can only promise you sweat, blood, tears, and toil. This is what leaders should be like. Leaders should not be like beggars on the negotiations track.
"In Stalingrad... In Leningrad, there were 600 casualties... Sorry, there were 600,000 casualties in Leningrad, and there were one million displaced people. This rule applies to us, just as it applies to any other nation."
"We Want a Palestinian Reconciliation – But After the Lesson of Gaza, What Will Be The Basis For The Reconciliation?"
"My beloved [brothers] in the West Bank – your day has come. I know that you waged an Intifada in the past, but the oppression has prevented you from waging a great Intifada, as you did in the past. However, we cannot place the entire national burden on Gaza.
"We want a Palestinian reconciliation. But after the lesson of Gaza, what will be the basis for the reconciliation? We want it to be based on the resistance, and on adherence to our national rights, and not on these futile negotiations, or on concessions regarding Jerusalem, the Right of Return, or the land.
"Yes, we support internal Palestinian dialogue, but in order for it to be a serious and successful dialogue, it must be preceded by certain steps. The detainees must be released, and the security cooperation with the enemy must be stopped."[...]
"The International Community... the Quartet, and... Obama's New Administration... Should Stop Israel... The Time Has Come For You to Deal With Hamas"
"This was a lesson to the reasonable people in the international community, to the Quartet, and to Obama's new administration and his allies in Europe. They should stop Israel, and they should know that Israel is incapable of defending itself, and that the occupation and aggression have no future. The second lesson that needs to be learned is that three years of attempting to rule out Hamas are enough.
"The time has come for you to deal with Hamas, which has gained legitimacy from its struggle, from the ballot boxes, from its incorruptibility, from its service to its people, and now it has gained legitimacy from its victory over the strongest power in the region. The time has come for you to deal with Hamas properly – not because we have something to gain from this. By no means. This is a national demand. We do not force ourselves on anybody."