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Is pullout beginning of the end? Photo: Reuters
Is pullout beginning of the end? Photo: Reuters
 
Mashaal optimistic Photo: Reuters
Mashaal optimistic Photo: Reuters
 
  Photo: AP

 

Hamas: Pullout beginning of Israel’s end

Terror group leader Khaled Mashaal overjoyed, says Gaza exit constitutes important turning point in Palestinian-Israeli conflict. ‘Resistance is our strategic choice, we won’t put down our weapons,’ he says

By Roee Nahmias
Published: 08.16.05, 08:39 / Israel News

Celebrating the pullout: The implementation of the disengagement plan marks “the beginning of the end for Israel,” says Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal.

 

 

 

In a special interview with the London-based al-Hayat newspaper published Tuesday, Mashaal described the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip as “the beginning of the end for the Zionist program in the region.”

 

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Mashaal, just like other Hamas members and leaders of other terror groups, played a conspicuous role in the special programs featured by Arab television networks on the occasion of the disengagement.

 

Terror leaders repeatedly said that the armed struggle against Israel would continue until the West Bank and Jerusalem are liberated. Earlier, Palestinian National Security Advisor Jibril Rajoub said the PA received clarifications from the United States stressing the Gaza pullout would not be the last Israeli withdrawal.

 

Mashaal adopted the same rhetoric, saying “it is unthinkable that our people will renounce the resistance, which made the enemy retreat. This is our only guarantee to force the enemy to withdraw from the other territories.”

 

“The resistance is a strategic choice and there is no turning back,” he said. “This, in order to complete the plan for liberation and protection of our people. Therefore, we insist on keeping the resistance weapon.”

 

'Sharon wants Gaza exit to be first and last'

 

The Hamas leader reiterated the terror group’s commitment to the relative lull in violence until the end of the year, but qualified his remarks and said the “resistance is a strategic choice, because the withdrawal from Gaza is the first step on the way to completing the liberation.”

 

“Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon wants the Gaza exit to be the first and last, and the payment for the continued control in the West Bank, settlement construction, and the annulment of any possibility of establishing a Palestinian state,” he said.

 

The Hamas leader reiterated the terror group’s commitment to the relative lull in violence until the end of the year, but qualified his remarks and said the “resistance is a strategic choice, because the withdrawal from Gaza is the first step on the way to completing the liberation.”

 

“Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon wants the Gaza exit to be the first and last, and the payment for the continued control in the West Bank, settlement construction, and the annulment of any possibility of establishing a Palestinian state,” he said.

 

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