Hamas Politburo Chief Khaled Mashaal called on the West Thursday to "recognize the atrocity" of the assassination of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, and his burial at sea.
"Arabs and Muslims are human beings and the West should treat them with dignity, regardless of whether they are supporters or opponents of Osama bin Laden," he said.
Hamas attracted verbal fire over the recent week for condemning the arch-terrorist's death and calling him a "Shahid" (martyr). "There are moral rules to follow and the shedding the blood of Arabs and Muslims by Americans or others is unacceptable," Mashaal said.
The Damascus-based Hamas leader also spoke of kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, saying the fate of the Israeli soldier depended on "the Israeli government's attitude… the ball is in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's court.
"The obstacle in this case is the attitude of the Israeli government. We have submitted demands for a prisoner exchange and once they are satisfied, we will see some progress on this issue. For now, the ball is in Netanyahu's court," he said.
Meanwhile, Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh urged militant groups in Gaza Strip to adhere to the de facto truce with Israel, reached after several days of fighting in April. Haniyeh stressed the move is vital for the success of the newfound Palestinian unity.
AFP contributed to this report
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