Hamas leader urges Iran to continue to support Gazan people

By Xinhua,

TEHRAN : Visiting chief of Hamas political bureau Khaled Meshaal on Monday urged Iran to continue to support Gazan people in their ongoing “battle” against Israel.

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“We call on you to continue with the steps to support the people of Gaza, because the battle is not over,” Meshaal told a rally in Tehran University.

“We still have a battle — the battle of lifting the siege of Gaza, the opening of the border crossings,” said Meshaal, who arrived here Sunday for talks with senior Iranian officials on major regional and international issues.

“We still have the battle of rebuilding Gaza and rebuilding what had been destroyed by the Zionist regime (Israel),” Meshaal said.

The Hamas leader said Israel had been shocked by the resistance of the Palestinian people and that Iran was a partner in Hamas’ “victory” in Israel’s 22-day offensive in the Gaza Strip.

“The best qualified Israeli military forces became toys in the hands of Palestinian resistance…because the resistance was righteous,” Meshaal told the rally.

“Israel failed in defeating the Palestinian resistance in Gaza and…failed in overthrowing the Hamas government,” he said.

During his meeting with Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad earlier in the day, Meshaal said “Iranians share in the victory of the people of Gaza over the Zionist occupiers.”

Ahmadinejad, for his part, called on the United Nations to bring Israeli leaders to justice for “crimes against humanity and war crimes in Gaza,” the official IRNA news agency reported.

On Sunday, Meshaal met with Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, and presented him a complete report on the 22-day war in Gaza and briefed him on the resistance in Gaza.

Meshaal arrived in Iran on Sunday as a part of his regional tour that “previously took him to Egypt, Qatar, Syria and Turkey,” according to the report.