Khaled Mashal, the former Chairman of Hamas' Political Bureau, said in a December 20, 2019 speech that aired on Al-Jazeera Network (Qatar) that women play an important role in Palestinian society because they are martyrdom-seekers, they help martyrdom-seekers, and they take the places of men who have been martyred, imprisoned, or exiled. He emphasized that Hamas rejects the terms of the Middle East Quartet, saying that it is a matter of self-respect and having a strong identity. In addition, Mashal argued that the Islamic nation must not imitate the West and abandon its roots, saying that the Islamic nation will grow and be on the cutting edge of science, politics, and security while preserving its Islamic roots and culture.
Khaled Mashal: "The role of Palestinian women has become more important under the occupation. Palestinian women constitute 50% of the population, like in every other society, but they have two additional significant roles. The first role is struggling and resisting. The women are martyrdom-seekers, they help prepare martyrdom-seekers, and they play their role in the resistance. The second role they play is the role of [missing] men. They play the role of father, brother, and son. They fill the place of men who have become martyrs or who have been imprisoned or exiled.
"We decided to reject the terms of the Middle East Quartet. Others accepted these terms, but we decided... I asked some of the European officials: 'How many years do you need to test us to see if we meet the Quartet's terms? Ten years? We will not accept the terms of the Quartet!' Thus, the Europeans and others were forced to deal with us even though we did not accept the Quartet's terms.
"Some people confuse development and growth with living as somebody else. They believe that we cannot thrive unless we imitate the West or the East and strip ourselves of our identity."