Following are excerpts from an interview with Hamas Leader Khaled Mash'al, which aired on Al-Jazeera Network on May 7, 2011. The transcript is from the English translation.
Interviewer: There has been a lot of talk about Hamas's stance on the killing of Bin Laden, and the way he was killed. Can you set the record straight, and tell us what is Hamas's stance on this issue?
Khaled Mash'al: Hamas has nothing to do with Al-Qaeda. Within Hamas we do not agree to many of the actions of Al-Qaeda, especially operations against civilians, including the 9/11 events. We are the resistance against the occupation only if it is in a military context.
But we cannot approve of the killings of civilians, and the behavior of the US against its enemies in the world is not accepted, because America killed people in an unlawful way. It also targets the feelings of Muslims and Arabs under the pretext of anti-terrorism. The way Osama Bin Laden was killed and then his body thrown into the sea is not acceptable, and we condemn it.
Interviewer: Some people would argue that there are civilians who do lose their lives as a result of rockets fired from the Gaza Strip. What is your comment on that?
Khaled Mash'al: We never target civilians. We are in a defensive war. We are under aggression. Our land is occupied, and we have the right to fight the aggressor.
We do not target civilian locations with our basic missiles. If we [were] offered new and sophisticated weapons, we would definitely target military locations. We might sometimes unintentionally hit civilians with our basic missiles.