In an unprecedented scene, a Saudi Arabian reporter grilled the leader of Hamas, Khaled Mashal, on Friday.
Mashal, who lives in the lap of luxury in Qatar while demanding women and children sacrifice themselves for him, was quite obviously caught off guard by the line of questioning. You can see him get visibly angry at times, perhaps due to an expectation that he’d be allowed to spew his normal talking points without any pushback.
The video is obviously in Arabic but is subtitled throughout.
The pressure in the interview starts immediately, with a question about Hamas launching its new war against Israel without any backing from other Palestinian groups or Arab governments and then expecting them to all come rushing in to help. Mashal first answers by praising the brutal massacre of 1,400 people, mostly civilians, as “ingenious” and a part of the “air of resistance.”
To her credit, the reporter kept pushing, countering by pointing out that Hamas wasn’t resisting but instead butchered civilians and recorded themselves doing it. She goes on to point out that Hamas is now being compared to ISIS.
Naturally, Mashal again deflects, claiming such comparisons are a conspiracy invented by the Jews, and then the mask comes completely off. In an astonishing exchange, he begins to cite the 30 million Russian deaths during World War II as an example of the “sacrifice” needed to win. That’s the leader of Hamas coming right out and saying what we all know: He is willing to see an unthinkable number of women and children die for his “cause” while he gives orders from his penthouse in Qatar, never putting himself in danger.
There’s no greater picture of cowardice.
The reporter didn’t let up after that. She then demanded to know how Mashal could expect others to support the Palestinian cause when Hamas purposely butchered civilians in their attack. Laughably, he claims that Hamas “focuses on soldiers” and claims that whatever civilian deaths occurred weren’t their responsibility and happened “by mistake,” as if bounding and burning people alive is something that just happens.
At that point, the questioning returned to the issue of Hamas launching its attack unilaterally, with Mashal making a “demand” that Egypt get involved. It was in the context of Lebanon and Hezbollah, though, that the Saudi reporter delivered her most devastating line.
REPORTER: The last thing they need is another war that will come with another bill to pay. They say: Khaled Mashal is sitting in an air-conditioned room, talking about wars, jihad, and bombings
Mashal’s answer is absolutely laughable.
MASHAL: We are in the middle of the battlefield. No one is sitting this one out.
Fact-check: False. He is literally sitting the war out, something he’s done for most of his life. This is a man who was exiled by his fellow Arabs in Jordan before going to Syria and then Qatar. He has others die in his name while he lives off the fruit of the aid money he stole from them.
To end the interview, Mashal expressed more delusion, claiming that he wants the release of 10,000 prisoners in Israel for the release of the 200 hostages Hamas is holding. He also doubled down on the idea that Hamas didn’t need to consult the Arab nations on his attack despite demanding they assist him now.
We’ll see how that all works out for him. The reality is that Hamas started this war, and despite its desire for a wider regional conflict, it will face the consequences of its actions. Mashal should probably sleep with one eye open from here on out.