World Bulletin / News Desk
Hamas political chief Khaled Meshaal has vowed to continue fighting Israel until the self-proclaimed Jewish state meets Palestinian conditions for a permanent ceasefire, especially the lifting of a seven-year-long blockade on the Gaza Strip.
In an exclusive interview with Anadolu Agency on Thursday, Meshaal accused Israel of perpetrating a "holocaust" in the embattled Gaza Strip.
"We are determined to realize the demands of the Palestinian people, especially lifting the siege and securing the release of [Palestinian] detainees," Meshaal said.
Israel resumed airstrikes in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday following the collapse of Egypt-hosted indirect negotiations aimed at striking a permanent ceasefire deal.
While Israel accused Palestinian resistance factions of violating the ceasefire with a rocket barrage, Hamas accused Tel Aviv of attempting to derail the talks in Cairo.
Since 2007, the Gaza Strip has reeled under a crippling Israeli blockade that has taken an enormous toll on the coastal territory's economy and played havoc with residents' livelihoods.
Palestinian factions condition the signing of any permanent ceasefire deal on Israel lifting its longstanding blockade on the beleaguered enclave.
"We will not give up until Palestinian demands – at the top of which is lifting the Gaza siege – are fulfilled," Meshaal asserted.
"Our message to the world is that it's high time to deal with the root cause of the problem by ending the [Israeli] occupation and settlement building and enabling the Palestinian people to live in peace on their own land," he added.
The Doha-based Hamas leader went on to accuse Israel of perpetrating a "holocaust" in the Gaza Strip.
"What Israel has done in the Gaza Strip over the last 45 days is a genuine holocaust," Meshaal told AA. "They are killing children, destroying residential areas, mosques, hospitals and UNRWA-run schools."
He said that more than 2000 Palestinians – a quarter of whom were children – had been killed in recent Israeli attacks.
"Israel is replicating what [Nazi leader Adolf] Hitler did years ago," Meshaal said.
Since hostilities began on July 7, at least 2069 Palestinians have been killed – the vast majority of them civilians – and more than 10,000 injured by relentless Israeli attacks across the Gaza Strip.
Thousands of homes have also been destroyed by Israeli attacks across the blockaded territory.
According to Israeli figures, at least 67 Israelis – 64 soldiers and three civilians – have been killed over the same period.Last Mod: 21 Ağustos 2014, 13:29