Speaking in Istanbul, Khaled Mashaal demands immediate halt to building of settlements in occupied Palestinian territories
Speaking at a talks series organized by the Turkey-based YediHilal (Seven Crescent) Association in Istanbul, Mashal said Palestinians want their lands to be “completely free from occupiers”.
“We want to take back our land in such a way that settlers are removed and there are no more settlements. We want to return to a Palestine where there are no invaders and enemies,” the Hamas political bureau chief said.
His speech at the Halic Congress Center saw several pauses during which people from the crowd chanted pro-Palestine slogans and called on the Israeli government to revise its policies that oppress Palestinians in their lands.
“We want to declare that we back the UN’s fair decision and we expect more such fair decisions on this issue,” Mashal said.
On Friday, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution demanding Israel to halt the building and expansion of settlements in occupied Palestinian territories.
The resolution, which was co-sponsored by Malaysia, New Zealand, Senegal and Venezuela, was passed by a 14-0 vote after the U.S. abstained.
“This is a correction of at least one of the mistakes that the U.S. and the international community have previously made in matters related to Palestine,” the Palestinian leader added.
He thanked all governments and institutions who opposed Israel’s settlement policies.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had described the UN Security Council resolution as “anti-Israel” and “shameful”.
About the Israeli leader, the Hamas leader said: “Netenyahu is in a state of madness because of this decision.
“In the past years, Israel‘s presence for some states could be seen as a profitable investment. But today, for the international community, Israel has become a burden.”
He urged the international community and the Muslim world to stand with the “righteous struggle” because “the invaders are spreading their occupation step by step by opening new settlements in our territory”.
Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, has called repeatedly for taking steps to end the decades-long Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.