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Hamas: Netanyahu’s cabinet ‘neo-fascist’; Palestinians capable of defeating Israel

A senior member of the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas has slammed the “neo-fascist” Israeli coalition cabinet led by Benjamin Netanyahu, saying the Palestinian people are capable of defeating the far-right occupying regime.

Khaled Meshaal, the head of Hamas’ political bureau abroad, made the remarks on Sunday in a mass ceremony held on the occasion of the 35th anniversary of the founding of the resistance movement in the southern Lebanese port city of Sidon.

The new Israeli regime is “teeming with the most extreme religious and nationalist right in the history of the entity,” Meshaal said, adding, “Our great Palestinian people are capable of defeating the occupation and its neo-fascist” cabinet.

He said Israel thinks that with its extremist cabinet, it “will end our cause, but our great people, with their originality and unity, can turn this challenge into an opportunity as all settlement projects have been defeated, the latest of which was the deal of the century.”

Netanyahu, as the Likud chairman, is currently engaged in assembling a coalition that will see far-right figures Itamar Ben-Gvir of the Jewish Power party and Bezalel Smotrich of the Religious Zionism party likely exert more power over occupied Palestinian territories in the West Bank and with the police. 

Thousands of protesters have over the past few days staged demonstrations in various cities across the Israeli-occupied territories against the regime’s incoming right-wing administration.

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Elsewhere in his address, the Hamas official pointed to the so-called normalization deals between the Israeli regime and a few Arab countries, saying the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar showed that normalizing ties with Israel is nothing but an “illusion.” 

“The Qatar World Cup confirmed the centrality of the Palestinian cause and its active and strong presence, which disturbed the Zionists who felt that Palestine was the 33rd team in this tournament,” Meshaal said, referring to the much-frequent waving of Palestinian flags in Qatari stadiums.

“The normalization has proven to be an illusion, and it is an artificial thing that has no roots among our peoples,” he noted. “We have a position in the international arena and when we stand united, the world will stand with us.”

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Back in 2020, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain signed United States-brokered agreements with Israel to normalize their ties with the regime. Some other regional states, namely Sudan and Morocco, followed suit soon afterward.

The move, however, sparked widespread condemnations from the Palestinians as well as nations and human rights advocates across the globe, especially within the Muslim world. Palestinians denounced the normalization deals as a “stab in the back” and a “betrayal” to their cause.

Other regional countries have also been fraternizing with Israel, including Saudi Arabia, which received a visit by the regime’s then-prime minister Netanyahu in November 2020.

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