Former Hamas leader calls for 'Jihad' across Arab world this Friday

Khaled Mashal, head of Hamas's diaspora affairs office made the call to arms from Qatar


Newly elected Hamas political leader Khaled Meshaal speaks at political conference on Palestine on April 4, 2013 in Cairo. Meshaal's reelection as head of the Islamist Hamas movement was officially confirmed on April 2, drawing a cautious welcome from the rival Fatah movement which rules the West Bank. AFP PHOTO/GIANLUIGI GUERCIA (Photo credit should read GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP via Getty Images)

The former leader of Hamas has issued calls for Muslims across the world to "take to the streets" in a global day of protest against Israel on Friday.

Khaled Mashal, who was the leader of Hamas for three years from 2014-2017 and is now based in Qatar, issued a statement to Reuters early today saying that this was a "moment of truth" for the Arab world.

He said: "[We must] head to the squares and streets of the Arab and Islamic world on Friday,

“To all scholars who teach jihad … to all who teach and learn, this is a moment for the application [of jihad],”

He also made a special plea to Muslims living in the countries surrounding Israel saying: “Tribes of Jordan, sons of Jordan, brothers and sisters of Jordan … This is a moment of truth and the borders are close to you, you all know your responsibility,”

Mashal's calls come as the Israel-Hamas war continues into its fifth day with the numbers of Israeli dead totalling more than 1200, with bodies in kibbutzim still being discovered by emergency services.

Mashal has been living in exile in Qatar since 2012 when he was forced out of Syria by Bashar Al Assad. He was succeeded by Ismail Haniyeh who has been the leader of Hamas since 2017.

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