Former Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal called for protests across the Muslim world on Friday in support of the Palestinians and for the peoples of neighboring countries to join the fight against Israel.
“[We must] head to the squares and streets of the Arab and Islamic world on Friday,” Meshaal, who currently heads Hamas’s diaspora office, said in a recorded statement sent to Reuters.
Meshaal, who is based in Qatar, said the governments and peoples of Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Egypt have a bigger duty to support the Palestinians.
“Tribes of Jordan, sons of Jordan, brothers and sisters of Jordan… This is a moment of truth and the borders are close to you, you all know your responsibility,” Meshaal said.
Jordan and Lebanon are home to the largest number of Palestinian refugees.
His rallying call came as Israel vowed to escalate its response to an attack by Hamas with a ground offensive, after Israeli fighter jets struck more than 200 targets in Gaza city overnight. Gaza’s health ministry said at least 950 people have been killed and 5,000 injured in the crowded coastal enclave.
On Saturday, Hamas gunmen from the Gaza Strip rampaged through parts of southern Israel, in the deadliest Palestinian militant attack in Israel’s history.
“To all scholars who teach jihad… to all who teach and learn, this is a moment for the application (of theories),” Meshaal said.