In the parlance of ESPN … come on, man. That’s not the only spit-take claim made by Khaled Mashaal, the leader of Hamas currently holed up in his cushy digs in Qatar, during this interview with Yahoo News’ Michael Isikoff. Hamas doesn’t target civilians like ISIS does, Mashaal claims, although Isikoff starts off the interview challenging that claim right off the bat. “You are firing rockets at Israeli cities, like Tel Aviv, at Haifa, at Beersheba,” Isikoff points out. “Who are you aiming for?”
Mashaal blames the crude nature of their weapons, and then begs the world for more precise artillery so that they can aim at strictly military targets. No, seriously.
Come on, man:
Mashaal also admitted that Hamas abducted and killed the three Israeli teens that sparked the latest war in Gaza, but claims that the crimes were committed by low-level operatives without the knowledge of Hamas command:
Meshaal acknowledged for the first time that Hamas members — but not the group’s political leadership — were behind the slaying of three Israeli settlers on the West Bank in June. But he defended the murders as a legitimate action against Israeli “illegal” occupation.
“We were not aware of this action taken by this group of Hamas members in advance,” he said. “But we understand people are frustrated under the occupation and the oppression, and they take all kinds of action.”
When asked directly whether Hamas members carried out the abduction of the Israeli teens, Meshaal said: “We learned about these confessions from the Israeli investigation … Hamas political leadership was not aware of all these details. We learned about it later on …
“Our view is that soldiers and settlers on the West Bank are aggressors, and they are illegally living in this occupied and stolen land. And the right to resist is the right of Palestinians.”
And of course, Mashaal says if you want to compare anyone to ISIS, you obviously should consider the Joooooooos:
“This is an opportunity for me to say we are against the killing of any civilians, any journalists,” Meshaal said in the interview. But he then turned the accusation against Israel. “The question is who is killing the civilians,” he said, asserting that more than 15 journalists have been killed during the Israeli assault on Gaza.
Meanwhile, Egypt has called for all parties to return to Cairo to consider an “open-ended” cease fire in Gaza:
Egypt on Saturday called for an open-ended cease-fire in the Gaza Strip, urging Israel and Hamas to return to indirect talks after seven weeks of fighting punctuated by a number of failed truce attempts.
The call from the foreign ministry came shortly after Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi in Cairo. Egyptian officials did not say how they expected renewed talks to produce a different outcome after repeated failures.
Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev had no immediate comment. Sami Abu Zuhri, a spokesman for Gaza’s ruling Hamas, said the group would consider the Egyptian appeal, but there was no sign it would budge from longstanding demands.
Hamas wants Abbas to file charges against Israel for war crimes, which would be a rather ironic allegation:
Meanwhile, senior Hamas officials said the group has signed a pledge to back any Palestinian bid to join the International Criminal Court.
Such written consent increases already strong domestic pressure on Abbas to take such a step. Palestinian acceptance of the court’s jurisdiction could expose Israel — as well as Hamas — to war crimes investigations.
Israel already endures that scrutiny from the UN’s Human Rights Council, which has been obsessed with Israel while ignoring the real and significant abuses of the council’s own membership. They ignore lots of other regimes in their single-minded focus on the one liberal democracy in the region, such as Saudi Arabia, which just executed 19 people in 17 days, all by beheading. Of course, it helps when you have a seat on the council:
Out of the 19 people who were beheaded, eight where convicted of non-violent offences, seven for drug smuggling, while one was charged with sorcery.
Sarah Leah Whitson, Executive Director of HRW’s Middle East and North Africa division said: “Any execution is appalling, but executions for crimes such as drug smuggling or sorcery that result in no loss of life are particularly egregious. There is simply no excuse for Saudi Arabia’s continued use of the death penalty, especially for these types of crimes.
“The current surge in executions in Saudi Arabia is yet another dark stain on the kingdom’s human rights record.”
So good luck with that effort, and good luck in getting the world to hand over more precise and powerful weaponry to a terrorist organization whose charter commits it to genocide against the Israelis. The world has begun to notice that Hamas and ISIS have a lot more in common than Mashaal wants to admit.