Ex-Hamas leader says October 7 massacres were 'completely within our strategy'

Khaled Meshaal defended Hamas's barbaric actions and says they will stop hostage negotiations if bombing continues


Former Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal said in an interview with Sky News this morning that civilian hostages in Gaza will be released if Israel ceases bombing in Gaza. 

"Let [Israel] stop this aggression and you will find the mediators like Qatar and Egypt and some Arab countries... will find a way to have them released and we'll send them to their homes," Mashaal said.  

His appearance on Sky News marks the powerful Hamas figure’s first interview with a Western media outlet since the October 7 attacks on Israel, and he obstinately defended Hamas’s brutal actions on that day despite pressing from interviewer Dominic Waghorn to condemn the killing of innocent Israeli civilians.  

"There is no change in Hamas's strategy and what happened on 7 October is completely within Hamas's strategy. The ones who kill women and children, mothers and fathers are Israelis." 

Prominent sources and abundant video evidence indicate that Hamas militants deliberately targeted civilians in kibbutzim and the Supernova music festival, where over 250 unarmed civilians were killed. He denied Iranian involvement in the attack on October 7, saying that what happened that day was “a purely Palestinian Hamas decision.” 

Four hostages have now been released from imprisonment in Gaza, and Mashaal indicated that if Israel agrees to a ceasefire, more hostages will be returned to safety. He repeated claims that 22 hostages have been killed in Israeli airstrikes since their captor, though he would not verify their nationalities. 

“If… there is a ceasefire we come to the big question: what was the root cause of what happened, and we will say it’s the occupation,” Mashaal said.  

“So Israel should withdraw from all occupied lands and we will have a window of opportunity.” 

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