memri

August 19, 2014
Clip No.
4437

Hamas Leadership Acknowledges Responsibility for Kidnapping Three Israeli Teens

Saleh Al-'Arouri of the Hamas leadership delivered an address on behalf of Khaled Mash'al at the conference of the International Union of Muslim Scholars in Istanbul on August 20, 2014. In it he said: "Our goal was to ignite an intifada in the West Bank and Jerusalem, as well as within the 1948 borders... Your brothers in the Al-Qassam Brigades carried out this operation to support their imprisoned brothers, who were on a hunger strike... The mujahideen captured these settlers in order to have a swap deal." The address aired on Al-Jazeera TV.

 

Following are excerpts:

 

 

Moderator: The address of the great mujahid Abu al-Waleed, Khaled Mash'al, who leads this resistance along with his brothers in the land of steadfastness, will be delivered on his behalf by the mujahid Saleh Al-'Arouri.

 

 

Say: "Allah Akbar."

 

 

Audience: Allah Akbar.

 

 

Moderator: Say: "Allah Akbar."

 

 

Audience: Allah Akbar.

 

 

Moderator: Say: "Allah Akbar."

 

 

Audience: Allah Akbar.

 

 

[...]

 

 

Saleh Al-'Arouri: In all honesty, we in the Islamic resistance movement did not intend to start a large-scale war at this time. We know that the enemy was not ready to start a large-scale war either. But Allah decided that this large-scale war would rage, in order to achieve things in accordance with the will of Allah.

 

 

We wanted Gaza to serve as a strategic pillar, and to continue to amass strength in order to support the resistance all over Palestine. We wanted to activate the resistance throughout the land of Palestine: in the West Bank and in Jerusalem.

 

 

[...]

 

 

Our goal was to ignite an intifada in the West Bank and Jerusalem, as well as within the 1948 borders. The activity of the people has broadened to include all the occupied land, reaching its peak in the heroic operation, carried out by the Al-Qassam Brigades, in which three settlers were captured in Hebron.

 

 

There has been a lot of confusion regarding this operation. Some said that this was a conspiracy of the occupation. That's not true. Your brothers in the Al-Qassam Brigades carried out this operation to support their imprisoned brothers, who were on a hunger strike. The occupation wanted us to watch them die and to do nothing. The mujahideen captured these settlers in order to have a swap deal.

 

 

Then Israel wanted to strike a harsh blow to the resistance in the West Bank and Gaza, in order to shock the mujahideen and deter them from engaging in Jihad against the occupation. So it began to bombard Gaza, and to conduct arrests and wreak devastation in the West Bank.

 

 

But in these bombings, they killed six mujahideen. Thus, the fighting escalated. The mujahideen retaliated with missile strikes in the heart of the occupying entity. They were forced to escalate the fighting, and thus, an all-out war began.

 

 

[...]

 

 

Today, negotiations are being held in order to force the enemy to sign an agreement, in which it would acknowledge the victory of the resistance, and which would lead to the lifting of the Gaza blockade, to the rebuilding of Gaza, and to their recognition of the legitimacy of the resistance and its arms as the protector of this people and of its rights.

 

 

[...]