Daily Israel Report

Netanyahu Should Retire from Politics, Says Mashaal

"May you destroy the home of Netanyahu," Hamas chief Mashaal tells students at the Islamic University of Gaza.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 12/10/2012, 4:12 AM

Mashaal during his visit to the Islamic University in Gaza City
Mashaal during his visit to the Islamic University in Gaza City
Reuters

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu should retire from politics like Defense Minister Ehud Barak did, Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal said on Sunday, according to Channel 2 News.

Mashaal, who spoke at the Islamic University of Gaza, told the students, "You destroyed the home of Ehud Barak - and may you destroy the home of Netanyahu.”

"You, young men and women, surprised the enemy," added the Hamas leader, referring to Hamas terrorists targeting Israeli cities with rockets during Operation Pillar of Defense. "Bombing Tel Aviv was beyond expectations."

Barak's home is in Tel Aviv but it was not damaged, nor was any personal property, during missile attacks aimed at Tel Aviv. Netanyahu's home is in Jerusalem, which was also targeted during Pillar of Defense but the missiles landed outside the city.

Mashaal is currently on his first ever visit to Gaza, which Hamas overtook in 2007 in a violent coup against its longtime rival Fatah. Hamas is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its founding.

On Saturday, Mashaal rejected ceding "an inch of Palestinian territory” to Israel or recognizing the Jewish State.

Palestine is our land and nation from the (Mediterranean) sea to the (Jordan) river, from north to south, and we cannot cede an inch or any part of it," he said.

"Resistance is the right way to recover our rights, as well as all forms of struggle -- political, diplomatic, legal and popular, but all are senseless without resistance," added Mashaal.

As he arrived in Gaza on Friday, Mashaal told crowds he hoped his next visit would be to “Jerusalem, Ramallah and a liberated Palestine.”

He said his visit to Gaza was his "third birth", referring to an assassination attempt by Israeli Mossad agents in 1997 as his previous "re-birth."

"I pray to God that my fourth birth will come the day we liberate Palestine," Mashaal said. "Today is Gaza. Tomorrow will be Ramallah and after that Jerusalem then Haifa and Jaffa.”

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Sunday that Khaled Mashaal has revealed Hamas’ real face, while Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas hides behind him by not condemning remarks to destroy Israel.

Prime Minister Netanyahu told the Cabinet meeting Sunday morning, “Yesterday we were re-exposed to our enemies' true face. They have no intention of compromising with us; they want to destroy the state. They will fail, of course; in the annals of the history of our people, we – the Jewish People – have overcome such enemies.”

He noted that Abbas, who has fostered an image of a “peace partner” while recently declaring unity with Hamas, “has issued no condemnation, not of the remarks about the destruction of Israel, just as previously he did not condemn the missiles that were fired at Israel.”

Kadima chairman MK Shaul Mofaz said on Saturday that Israel should have taken advantage of Mashaal’s visit to Gaza and eliminated him.

"Israel missed an opportunity to eliminate the head of the serpent. I would recommend that Mashaal to pack his bags and leave Gaza as soon as possible,” said Mofaz.