Hamas political leader Khaled Meshal had just finished a speech about the latest Israeli assault on Gaza.
The following is a rough, edited translation of the speech:
This speech is first and foremost addressed to you, champions of al-Qassam. You will bring us victory, God willing.
Our circumstances today are unorthodox, because calls have rained on us from the West and the East, telling us to exact restraint, to give in for a ceasefire as though the problem came from us, as though it started from Gaza.
No, we’ve listened to [Netanyahu] justify Israel’s assault on Gaza and saw it being adopted by Western leaders, and we will not stand by it.
Netanyahu committed massacres against our people and against us, he sought to divide Jerusalem, and called for his people to attack ours.
When we declared a consensus government, Netanyahu started to tear at this government because he felt threatened.
Netanyahu let our people in Gaza starve and crave water as the Holy month of Ramadan fell upon us.
Netanyahu declared war on the consensus government and intensified arbitrary arrests. Our Palestinian people will not surrender, and it is because of [our people’s] anger–a blessed anger–that we will not stop. This unnerves Netanyahu.
There is an Israeli offensive on Gaza, and the Qassam Brigades retaliated with a limited offensive. However, the enemy escalated as it killed the brave Qassam soldiers two days ago. And the enemy began its systematic house demolition strategy, destroying houses where families still lived in.
Where is the international community, the UN Security Council?
To those who ask for restraint, we tell them to retreat. We demand from them to pressure Netanyahu in retreating his army from our lands.
Our people will not accept the desecration of our religious artifacts–Muslim and Christian– nor will it accept being starved. The Palestinian people wants its freedom. Today, blame Netanyahu and his extremist government, he was the one who brought this upon you. Netanyahu will lead you from failure to failure.
You’ve killed our people, so do not blame anyone [for our retaliation] but yourselves.
You’ve cheated the world, but the world has grown sick of your crimes and it will no longer accept them.
We will continue to fight for our land, and we will not stop God willing.
We know Zionist army is better than us technologically, we know it is capable of crushing and killing our people and obliterating our land. Today we are at the precipice of a big battle, and we ask our people for patience and perseverance and faith. Your suffering is our suffering.
The Resistance has sent an excellent message [to the Zionist entity], that we will not stand idle as our people are being murdered.
I urge all factions to unite on the field so that we may purify Palestine [from the Zionist enemy]. I urge the Palestinian Authority, our brothers, to stand with their people as we stand together against the enemy. Every attack on Gaza gives allowance to the Palestinian people to another uprising.
Rise as you did when you witnessed the brutal murder of Mohammed al-Dorra, and remember Mohammed Abou Khdair.
We will not wait for anyone, God is with us, and we will be victorious.”