On February 3, 2024, the Afghan Taliban's state-owned Pashtu-language newspaper "Hewad Daily" published an interview with Husam Badran, the spokesman of Hamas, in which he said that the defeat of the U.S. and NATO forces by the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA, i.e., the Afghan Taliban) in 2021 as well as similar experiences against occupation forces in other countries such as Iraq and Algeria taught Hamas to choose the path of jihad.
"Without a doubt, the experience of the brave Afghan people was the last lesson for the world, the [Afghan] society that chose patience continued the war with strong determination and stood upright in its position until victory was achieved. This experience [of Afghanistan] and other nations such as Iraq and Algeria taught us to choose the path of jihad and not to be disappointed on this path," Husam Badran said.
Following is the text of the interview, as translated from Pashto:
"Undoubtedly, This Afghan Experience Was A Lesson And Good News For The Awakening Of The Arab And Islamic People And The Future Success Of The Islamic Ummah"
"Our Resistance To Israeli Atrocities Shows Commitment And Courage To Freedom.
"The Struggle Of Afghan Nation Has Taught Jihad And Persistence.
"Dear readers, Hewad Daily conducted a special interview with Husam Badran, a member of the Political Office of Hamas and Head of Media, about the ongoing war in Gaza between the Islamic movement Hamas and the Israeli occupation forces. We share the Pashto text with you.
"Question: 'It seems that you were ready for a long war before the Al-Aqsa Storm began, is that correct?'
"Husam Badran: 'We have been fighting with the Palestinian people for decades against Israel's occupation and constant brutality. Before that, the Zionist rioters were already involved in killing and persecuting the Palestinians and the history of the Palestinians is full of painful incidents of Jewish oppression and brutality, which have no moral example and cannot be justified by any law in the world. Therefore, when we intended to carry out this operation, we knew that we and the Palestinian people would pay a high price for it because the Jewish aggressors have always taken revenge by killing and persecuting the Palestinian people during their shameful defeat against the brave struggle of the Palestinian people.
"'We are committed to such a war, which determines the long-term fate of the Palestinian people, and we are ready to make sacrifices in this way, and we call this sacrifice of the people a part of the struggle for the freedom of Palestine and the way to determine our own destiny. If we mention the quantity of losses in this way of struggle, the graph of the bravery of the Palestinian resistance also shows the same amount, and the Afghan mujahid people have a good experience of this, especially when they fought against the international alliance for 20 years without getting tired and retreating.
"'Undoubtedly, this Afghan experience was a lesson and good news for the awakening of the Arab and Islamic people and the future success of the Islamic Ummah. Without a doubt the experience of the brave Afghan people was the last lesson for the world, the [Afghan] society that chose patience continued the war with strong determination and stood upright on its position until victory was achieved. This experience [of Afghanistan] and other nations such as Iraq and Algeria taught us to choose the path of jihad and not to be disappointed on this path, despite that the damage and price will be high, but independence comes with such sacrifices.
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"'If I tell you about my preparation, there is no doubt that we have not stopped against the Israeli occupation for a moment; we have strengthened what we had with the Palestinian intellect. By the grace of Allah, the result was this, that on October 7, it gave a strong and successful force to cross the borders of Israel and within a few hours, the Gaza division was destroyed, and tens of Israeli soldiers were captured, and we broke the pride of Israel.
"'Also, a clear example of our preparation is that the Palestinian resistance under the leadership of Kataib Al-Qassam has been going on for more than 110 days; and as a result of this resistance and war, according to Israeli media reports, dozens of Israeli soldiers have been died and thousands have been injured. All I can say about the losses of the Palestinians is that it is more than what is reported in the media.'"
"I Have To Say That The Arab And Islamic Countries Must Clearly Stand Against The Position Of The Western World, Especially The United States, And Prevent The Genocide Of The Palestinian People By Israel"
"Question: 'Why did the Al-Aqsa Storm operation begin specifically on October 7? If you could give a little explanation.'
"Husam Badran: 'The Al-Aqsa Storm operation is the result of the resistance of the Palestinian people against seven decades of continuous occupation, and it is a natural progression of the historical war with Israel. But regarding its beginning on a specific date, the Palestinian issue occurs under difficult circumstances, especially when Israel, under the leadership of the United States, tried to end the Palestinian issue with the support of the Western world. [The U.S.] supported Israeli power and domination, [and Israel] continued the occupation, and completed the acquisition and annexation of the lands of the West Bank and the acquisition of Al-Quds [Jerusalem], and finally it started seriously to continue the siege of Gaza and in the region started extensive work to recognize Israel and strengthen relations with it.
"'A month before the start of the Al-Aqsa Storm, [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu stated his victory in the United Nations General Assembly with great pride in marginalizing the Palestinian issue and without [facing] any problems in relations with the region and relations with Islamic and Arab countries. It is a basic need to present the Palestinian people's opinion and position against all these problems and challenges, which occurred at the beginning of the Al-Aqsa Storm.'"
"Question: 'Will your (Hamas) and Hezbollah party have the same goals?'
"Husam Badran: 'Our policy is always based on common goals. Today, Lebanon is also the target of Israel's continuous attacks and bombings as a result of Hezbollah's support for the Palestinian people, and this is the strong position of the people of Lebanon, as well as other countries in the region, Iraq, and Yemen. Despite some interpersonal differences and various conflicts between the countries, the countries and living forces of the region consider Israel as their first enemy, and in addition, the issue of Palestine in the world and the region is discussed from one position of all independent countries and people.
"'Question: 'In view of the difficult nights and sufferings that the Palestinian people have passed through and are passing through, which countries' positions regarding the winner in Gaza do you consider to be strong...?'
"Husam Badran: 'First of all, it is necessary to mention the position of the Arab and Islamic people. Even beyond the Islamic world, which has expressed its strong sympathy and broad support for the Palestinian people,... [various countries] have condemned the brutality and oppression of Israel and have condemned the massacre of the people of Gaza.
"'Likewise, the positions of Arab and Islamic countries in condemning Israel's crimes and brutality were also effective and important in supporting the Palestinian people. But I have to say that the Arab and Islamic countries must clearly stand against the position of the Western world, especially the United States, and prevent the genocide of the Palestinian people by Israel.'"
"Instead Of A Short-Term Ceasefire, Our Terms Are An Immediate And Comprehensive Ceasefire In The Massacre By Israel In Gaza, The Release Of Palestinians From Israeli Prisons On The Basis Of 'All Against All,' A Clear Guarantee Of Reconstruction And Compensation For All Damages, And An End To The Siege Of Gaza"
"Question: 'Under what terms are you ready to negotiate with Israel?'
"Answer: 'From the beginning, we have clearly defined our terms and we have clearly stated our position to the mediators several times regarding talks and negotiations. Instead of a short-term ceasefire, our terms are an immediate and comprehensive ceasefire in the massacre by Israel in Gaza, the release of Palestinians from Israeli prisons on the basis of 'all against all,' a clear guarantee of reconstruction and compensation for all damages, and end to the siege of Gaza.'
"Question: 'As a spokesperson and witness of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), how do you describe the situation of the people of Gaza to the Islamic Ummah?'
"Husam Badran: 'Unfortunately, the human situation is a disturbing and saddening disaster as a result of the Israeli occupation. Today, Israel is being tried at the International Court of Justice for the crime of genocide; if this crime and actions [of Israel] can be named in any other way, we would have used it for the occupier Israel.
"'In the last four months, we have 26,000 martyrs of which more than 10,000 are children. In addition to this, 7,000 are still missing under the ground; 60 percent of the buildings have been completely destroyed, and what is even more disturbing is that people in Gaza are suffering from deadly hunger. All facilities of life have been destroyed; health centers and hospitals have been destroyed; mosques have been destroyed; educational institutions, schools and universities have been destroyed.'"
"Media And Press Played A Major Role In Revealing Israel's Shameful Narrative Despite The Fact That Some Media In The West With The Help Of Israel Did Not Work Properly"
"Question: 'How do you evaluate media and press regarding this historic event and disaster?'
"Husam Badran: 'Media and press played a major role in revealing Israel's shameful narrative despite the fact that some media in the West with the help of Israel did not work properly. However, some independent journalists and media, especially young activists, raised the veil of Israel's brutality and oppression on the Palestinian people in the mass killings of the people of Gaza and revealed their truth to the world. These media and media facts have ensured our view and talks about the Israeli occupation and brutality – that it is an unparalleled barbaric occupation in the world. Likewise, independent media and journalists also challenged the claims of the Western world, which from the beginning of this war tried to turn it from the image of genocide and help Israel's war narrative and justify the killings.'
"Question: 'Before the Al-Aqsa Storm operation, you have gone through bad days and moments of Israel's blind bombings, horrors and cruelties. Why didn't you start such an operation at that time, namely why was it delayed until October 7?'
"Husam Badran: 'The resistance has not stopped fighting and struggling against the occupation for a single day. We fought a big war in 2021 due to desecration of Al-Quds and also the resistance fought important battles against the continuous crimes of Israel during the last two years. Sometimes, some wars and military operations need opportunities and time before the start.
"'For example, good preparation and number of fighters, choosing suitable plans, waiting for those opportunities and times, in which the achievement of the objectives is certain, all of which we followed during the Al-Aqsa Storm operation. The October 7 operation had the same results that follow from the best preparation...; we found the right opportunity and we moved forward based on a regular plan and program.'"
Source: HewadDaily.com (Afghanistan), February 3, 2024.