Khaled Mashal

Khaled Mashal

Overview
Khaled Mashal, also known as Khaled Mashaal, Khaled Meshaal, and Khalid Mish'al, has been the main leader of Hamas
Hamas
Hamas is the Palestinian Sunni Islamic or Islamist political party that governs the Gaza Strip. Hamas also has a military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades...

 since the assassination of Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi
Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi
Dr. Abdel Aziz Ali Abdulmajid al-Rantissi ; 23 October 1947 – 17 April 2004) was the co-founder of the militant Palestinian Islamist organization Hamas with Sheikh Ahmed Yassin....

 in 2004. In addition, Mashal heads the Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

n branch of the political bureau of Hamas
Hamas
Hamas is the Palestinian Sunni Islamic or Islamist political party that governs the Gaza Strip. Hamas also has a military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades...

.

Mashal was born in Silwad
Silwad
Silwad is a Palestinian town located 12 kilometers north-east of Ramallah, about 5 km away from the Nablus-Jerusalem highway. Silwad altitude is 860 Meter above sea level. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics , the town had a population of 6,123 inhabitants in...

, a village north of Ramallah
Ramallah
Ramallah is a Palestinian city in the central West Bank located 10 kilometers north of Jerusalem, adjacent to al-Bireh. It currently serves as the de facto administrative capital of the Palestinian National Authority...

 and moved to Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

 in 1967. While attending Kuwait University
Kuwait University
Kuwait University was established in October 1966, five years after Kuwait's independence from British Colonization. KU started with only two faculties, namely the Faculty of Science, Arts and Education; and a Women's College. The university had 418 students enrolled and 31 faculty members. By ,...

, Mashal, as an Islamic
Islamism
Islamism also , lit., "Political Islam" is set of ideologies holding that Islam is not only a religion but also a political system. Islamism is a controversial term, and definitions of it sometimes vary...

 student leader, challenged the dominance of Yasser Arafat
Yasser Arafat
Mohammed Yasser Abdel Rahman Abdel Raouf Arafat al-Qudwa al-Husseini , popularly known as Yasser Arafat or by his kunya Abu Ammar , was a Palestinian leader and a Laureate of the Nobel Prize. He was Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization , President of the Palestinian National Authority...

 and the Palestine Liberation Organization
Palestine Liberation Organization
The Palestine Liberation Organization is a political and paramilitary organization which was created in 1964. It is recognized as the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people" by the United Nations and over 100 states with which it holds diplomatic relations, and has enjoyed...

, participating in the foundation of the Islamic Haqq Bloc, which competed with Fatah
Fatah
Fataḥ is a major Palestinian political party and the largest faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization , a multi-party confederation. In Palestinian politics it is on the left-wing of the spectrum; it is mainly nationalist, although not predominantly socialist. Its official goals are found...

 for leadership of the General Union of Palestinian Students
General Union of Palestinian Students
The General Union of Palestinian Students is an organization run by Palestinian students since the early 1920s. It is generally considered one of the first Palestinian institutions started. It was officially launched in Cairo in 1959....

 in Kuwait
Kuwait
The State of Kuwait is a sovereign Arab state situated in the north-east of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south at Khafji, and Iraq to the north at Basra. It lies on the north-western shore of the Persian Gulf. The name Kuwait is derived from the...

.
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Quotations

(Source: MEMRI) "I say to the [European countries]: Hurry up and apologize to our nation, because if you do not, you will regret it. This is because our nation is progressing and is victorious. Do not leave a black mark in the collective memory of the nation, because our nation will not forgive you."

Encyclopedia
Khaled Mashal, also known as Khaled Mashaal, Khaled Meshaal, and Khalid Mish'al, has been the main leader of Hamas
Hamas
Hamas is the Palestinian Sunni Islamic or Islamist political party that governs the Gaza Strip. Hamas also has a military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades...

 since the assassination of Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi
Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi
Dr. Abdel Aziz Ali Abdulmajid al-Rantissi ; 23 October 1947 – 17 April 2004) was the co-founder of the militant Palestinian Islamist organization Hamas with Sheikh Ahmed Yassin....

 in 2004. In addition, Mashal heads the Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

n branch of the political bureau of Hamas
Hamas
Hamas is the Palestinian Sunni Islamic or Islamist political party that governs the Gaza Strip. Hamas also has a military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades...

.

Mashal was born in Silwad
Silwad
Silwad is a Palestinian town located 12 kilometers north-east of Ramallah, about 5 km away from the Nablus-Jerusalem highway. Silwad altitude is 860 Meter above sea level. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics , the town had a population of 6,123 inhabitants in...

, a village north of Ramallah
Ramallah
Ramallah is a Palestinian city in the central West Bank located 10 kilometers north of Jerusalem, adjacent to al-Bireh. It currently serves as the de facto administrative capital of the Palestinian National Authority...

 and moved to Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

 in 1967. While attending Kuwait University
Kuwait University
Kuwait University was established in October 1966, five years after Kuwait's independence from British Colonization. KU started with only two faculties, namely the Faculty of Science, Arts and Education; and a Women's College. The university had 418 students enrolled and 31 faculty members. By ,...

, Mashal, as an Islamic
Islamism
Islamism also , lit., "Political Islam" is set of ideologies holding that Islam is not only a religion but also a political system. Islamism is a controversial term, and definitions of it sometimes vary...

 student leader, challenged the dominance of Yasser Arafat
Yasser Arafat
Mohammed Yasser Abdel Rahman Abdel Raouf Arafat al-Qudwa al-Husseini , popularly known as Yasser Arafat or by his kunya Abu Ammar , was a Palestinian leader and a Laureate of the Nobel Prize. He was Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization , President of the Palestinian National Authority...

 and the Palestine Liberation Organization
Palestine Liberation Organization
The Palestine Liberation Organization is a political and paramilitary organization which was created in 1964. It is recognized as the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people" by the United Nations and over 100 states with which it holds diplomatic relations, and has enjoyed...

, participating in the foundation of the Islamic Haqq Bloc, which competed with Fatah
Fatah
Fataḥ is a major Palestinian political party and the largest faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization , a multi-party confederation. In Palestinian politics it is on the left-wing of the spectrum; it is mainly nationalist, although not predominantly socialist. Its official goals are found...

 for leadership of the General Union of Palestinian Students
General Union of Palestinian Students
The General Union of Palestinian Students is an organization run by Palestinian students since the early 1920s. It is generally considered one of the first Palestinian institutions started. It was officially launched in Cairo in 1959....

 in Kuwait
Kuwait
The State of Kuwait is a sovereign Arab state situated in the north-east of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south at Khafji, and Iraq to the north at Basra. It lies on the north-western shore of the Persian Gulf. The name Kuwait is derived from the...

. After the founding of Hamas in 1987, Mashal came to lead the Kuwaiti branch of the organization. Mashal moved from Kuwait to Jordan in 1991. Since the expulsion of the Hamas leadership from Jordan in August 1999, Mashal lived in Qatar
Qatar
Qatar , also known as the State of Qatar or locally Dawlat Qaṭar, is a sovereign Arab state, located in the Middle East, occupying the small Qatar Peninsula on the northeasterly coast of the much larger Arabian Peninsula. Its sole land border is with Saudi Arabia to the south, with the rest of its...

 before moving to the Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

n capital of Damascus
Damascus
Damascus , commonly known in Syria as Al Sham , and as the City of Jasmine , is the capital and the second largest city of Syria after Aleppo, both are part of the country's 14 governorates. In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major...

 in 2001. In 2010, The British Magazine New Statesman
New Statesman
New Statesman is a British centre-left political and cultural magazine published weekly in London. Founded in 1913, and connected with leading members of the Fabian Society, the magazine reached a circulation peak in the late 1960s....

 Listed Khaled Mashal at number 18th in the list of "The World's 50 Most Influential Figures 2010".

Early life and membership with Hamas


Khaled Mashal was born in the village of Silwad
Silwad
Silwad is a Palestinian town located 12 kilometers north-east of Ramallah, about 5 km away from the Nablus-Jerusalem highway. Silwad altitude is 860 Meter above sea level. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics , the town had a population of 6,123 inhabitants in...

, north of Ramallah
Ramallah
Ramallah is a Palestinian city in the central West Bank located 10 kilometers north of Jerusalem, adjacent to al-Bireh. It currently serves as the de facto administrative capital of the Palestinian National Authority...

, then ruled by Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

. Mashal attended Silwad Elementary School until the 1967 Six-Day War
Six-Day War
The Six-Day War , also known as the June War, 1967 Arab-Israeli War, or Third Arab-Israeli War, was fought between June 5 and 10, 1967, by Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt , Jordan, and Syria...

 and the occupation of the West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

 by Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

. His father moved the family to Kuwait
Kuwait
The State of Kuwait is a sovereign Arab state situated in the north-east of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south at Khafji, and Iraq to the north at Basra. It lies on the north-western shore of the Persian Gulf. The name Kuwait is derived from the...

 afterward for financial reasons. Mashal holds a Bachelor of Science
Bachelor of Science
A Bachelor of Science is an undergraduate academic degree awarded for completed courses that generally last three to five years .-Australia:In Australia, the BSc is a 3 year degree, offered from 1st year on...

 degree in Physics from Kuwait University
Kuwait University
Kuwait University was established in October 1966, five years after Kuwait's independence from British Colonization. KU started with only two faculties, namely the Faculty of Science, Arts and Education; and a Women's College. The university had 418 students enrolled and 31 faculty members. By ,...

. Mashal joined the Muslim Brotherhood
Muslim Brotherhood
The Society of the Muslim Brothers is the world's oldest and one of the largest Islamist parties, and is the largest political opposition organization in many Arab states. It was founded in 1928 in Egypt by the Islamic scholar and schoolteacher Hassan al-Banna and by the late 1940s had an...

 in 1971.

While at Kuwait University, Mashal headed the Islamic Justice (qa’imat al-haq al-islamiyya) list in the General Union of Palestinian Students
General Union of Palestinian Students
The General Union of Palestinian Students is an organization run by Palestinian students since the early 1920s. It is generally considered one of the first Palestinian institutions started. It was officially launched in Cairo in 1959....

 (GUPS) elections in 1977. The basis for the Islamic Justice list was the Palestinian Islamic movement, as part of the Muslim Brotherhood. After the cancellation of the GUPS elections, Mashal established the Islamic League for Palestinian Students (al-rabita al-islamiyya li talabat filastin) in 1980. Mashal taught in the Kuwait schools from 1978 to 1984. He was married in 1980 and is the father of three daughters and four sons.

In 1983, the Palestinian Islamic movement convened an internal, closed conference in an Arab state. It included delegates from the West Bank, Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
thumb|Gaza city skylineThe Gaza Strip lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres wide, with a total area of...

, and Palestinian refugee
Palestinian refugee
Palestinian refugees or Palestine refugees are the people and their descendants, predominantly Palestinian Arabic-speakers, who fled or were expelled from their homes during and after the 1948 Palestine War, within that part of the British Mandate of Palestine, that after that war became the...

s from the Arab states. It was an important milestone as it laid the foundation for the creation of Hamas. Mashal was part of the leadership of the project to build a Palestinian Islamic movement from its inception, after 1984 Mashal devoted himself to the project on a full-time basis. During this period Mashal remained in Kuwait.

Mashal lived in Kuwait until the 1991 Gulf War
Gulf War
The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...

. When Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 invaded Kuwait, Mashal moved to Jordan and began working directly with Hamas. He has been a member of Hamas' Political Bureau since its inception and became its chairman in 1996.

Assassination attempt


On September 25, 1997, Mashal was the target of an assassination
Assassination
To carry out an assassination is "to murder by a sudden and/or secret attack, often for political reasons." Alternatively, assassination may be defined as "the act of deliberately killing someone, especially a public figure, usually for hire or for political reasons."An assassination may be...

 attempt carried out by the Israeli Mossad
Mossad
The Mossad , short for HaMossad leModi'in uleTafkidim Meyuchadim , is the national intelligence agency of Israel....

 under orders from Prime Minister
Prime Minister of Israel
The Prime Minister of Israel is the head of the Israeli government and the most powerful political figure in Israel . The prime minister is the country's chief executive. The official residence of the prime minister, Beit Rosh Hamemshala is in Jerusalem...

 Benjamin Netanyahu
Benjamin Netanyahu
Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu is the current Prime Minister of Israel. He serves also as the Chairman of the Likud Party, as a Knesset member, as the Health Minister of Israel, as the Pensioner Affairs Minister of Israel and as the Economic Strategy Minister of Israel.Netanyahu is the first and, to...

 and his security cabinet.

Description of the Operation


On September 25, 1997, the Mossad agents waited at the entrance of the Hamas offices in Amman, with the intention of assassinating Khalid Mashal. At the time of the assassination attempt Mashal was considered Hamas' Jordanian branch chief. Two Mossad agents carrying Canadian passport
Canadian passport
A Canadian passport is a passport issued to citizens of Canada for the purpose of international travel; allowing the bearer to travel in foreign countries in accordance with visa requirements; facilitating the process of securing assistance from Canadian consular officials abroad, if necessary; and...

s entered Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

, where Mashal was living. As Mashal walked into his office, one of the agents came up from behind and held a device to Mashal's left ear that transmitted a lethal nerve toxin
Toxin
A toxin is a poisonous substance produced within living cells or organisms; man-made substances created by artificial processes are thus excluded...

, levofentanyl.

However, immediately afterwards, Khalid Mish'al's personal chauffeur and a security guard intervened. The chauffeur, who saw what was happening, hit the agent with a newspaper on his hand. The security guard began to chase the agents, and was able to note the license plate number of the car in which they had escaped, and boarded a passing car in order to pursue them. The agents were unaware that they were being followed. After some 300 meters, they stopped their car and left it. The security guard chased them and, with the help of a plainclothes policeman, managed to overpower and apprehend them. The agents were driven by the policeman and the security guard in a taxi to the nearest police station, and placed under arrest.

Immediately after the incident, Jordan's King Hussein
Hussein of Jordan
Hussein bin Talal was the third King of Jordan from the abdication of his father, King Talal, in 1952, until his death. Hussein's rule extended through the Cold War and four decades of Arab-Israeli conflict...

 demanded that Benjamin Netanyahu turn over the antidote
Antidote
An antidote is a substance which can counteract a form of poisoning. The term ultimately derives from the Greek αντιδιδοναι antididonai, "given against"....

 for the nerve toxin. At first Netanyahu refused, but as the incident grew in political significance, American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 President Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

 intervened and compelled Netanyahu to turn over the antidote. The Head of the Mossad, Danny Yatom
Danny Yatom
Danny Yatom is a former Israeli politician who served as a member of the Knesset for Labour. Before that he was a Director of the Mossad security service.-Background:...

, flew to Jordan, with the Prime Minister's consent, bringing with him an antidote to treat Khalid Mish'al.

Mish'al was given the antidote, thus saving his life. In the negotiations subsequently conducted for the release of the agents, an agreement was reached with the Jordanian authorities whereby, in exchange for the release of Shaykh Yasin
Ahmed Yassin
Sheikh Ahmed Ismail Hassan Yassin was a founder of Hamas, an Islamist Palestinian paramilitary organization and political party. Yassin also served as the spiritual leader of the organization...

, the founder and spiritual leader of Hamas, and a number of other prisoners held in Israel, they would release the Israeli agents and allow them to return to Israel.

After the incident Mish'al told Third Way Magazine
Third Way Magazine
Third Way Magazine is a UK current-affairs magazine written from a Christian perspective. It is distinctively biblical, fairly highbrow and culturally aware...

: "Israeli threats have one of two effects: some people are intimidated, but others become more defiant and determined. I am one of the latter."

Exile


In 1999, Hamas was banned in Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

. Jordan's King Abdullah accused Hamas of using Jordanian soil for illegal activities, and Hamas' allies for trying to disrupt the peace treaty between Jordan and Israel as reasons for the decision. That year, Jordan arrested top Hamas leaders, including Khaled Mashaal, Mousa Abu Marzook, and five others upon their arrival to Jordan from Iran. They were charged with being members of an organization outlawed by Jordan, for illegal possession of light weapons and hand grenades, fraud, and illegal fund raising. Mashaal was expelled from Jordan and has made his home in Qatar
Qatar
Qatar , also known as the State of Qatar or locally Dawlat Qaṭar, is a sovereign Arab state, located in the Middle East, occupying the small Qatar Peninsula on the northeasterly coast of the much larger Arabian Peninsula. Its sole land border is with Saudi Arabia to the south, with the rest of its...

. In 2001, he moved to Damascus
Damascus
Damascus , commonly known in Syria as Al Sham , and as the City of Jasmine , is the capital and the second largest city of Syria after Aleppo, both are part of the country's 14 governorates. In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major...

, Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

 where he currently resides.

Representing Hamas internationally


Mashal was a vocal critic of Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat
Yasser Arafat
Mohammed Yasser Abdel Rahman Abdel Raouf Arafat al-Qudwa al-Husseini , popularly known as Yasser Arafat or by his kunya Abu Ammar , was a Palestinian leader and a Laureate of the Nobel Prize. He was Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization , President of the Palestinian National Authority...

, often refusing to follow directives issued by the PA regarding ceasefires with Israel. Mashal was considered a key force behind this policy, along with Sheikh Ahmed Yassin. Mashal attended Arafat's funeral, alongside the Saudi royal family
House of Saud
The House of Saud , also called the Al Saud, is the ruling royal family of Saudi Arabia and one of the wealthiest and most powerful dynasties in the world. The family holds thousands of members...

, in Cairo
Cairo
Cairo , is the capital of Egypt and the largest city in the Arab world and Africa, and the 16th largest metropolitan area in the world. Nicknamed "The City of a Thousand Minarets" for its preponderance of Islamic architecture, Cairo has long been a centre of the region's political and cultural life...

, Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

, on November 12, 2004.

On January 29, 2006, after the surprise Hamas victory in the Palestinian legislative council elections
Palestinian legislative election, 2006
On January 25, 2006, elections were held for the Palestinian Legislative Council , the legislature of the Palestinian National Authority . Notwithstanding the 2005 municipal elections and the January 9, 2005 presidential election, this was the first election to the PLC since 1996; subsequent...

, Mashal stated that Hamas had no plans to disarm. He declared that Hamas was ready to "unify the weapons of Palestinian factions, with Palestinian consensus, and form an army like any independent state... an army that protects our people against aggression". Later, on February 13, 2006, Mashal declared that Hamas would end the armed struggle against Israel if Israel withdrew to its pre-1967 borders and recognize a Palestinian right of return
Palestinian right of return
The Palestinian right of return is a political position or principle asserting that Palestinian refugees, both first-generation refugees and their descendants, have a right to return, and a right to the property they or their forebears left or which they were forced to leave in what is now Israel...

. In a Reuters interview on July 31, 2006, Mashal warned Palestinians everywhere against attempts to separate the Lebanese and Palestinian issues.

He reaffirmed this stance in a March 5, 2008 interview with Al Jazeera English, citing Hamas's signing of the 2005 Cairo Declaration
Cairo Declaration
The Cairo Declaration was the outcome of the Cairo Conference in Cairo, Egypt, on November 27, 1943. President Franklin Roosevelt of the United States, Prime Minister Winston Churchill of the United Kingdom, and Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek of the Republic of China were present...

 and the National Reconciliation Document, and denied any rejectionist stance. In the March 30, 2008 interview to Sky News
Sky News
Sky News is a 24-hour British and international satellite television news broadcaster with an emphasis on UK and international news stories.The service places emphasis on rolling news, including the latest breaking news. Sky News also hosts localised versions of the channel in Australia and in New...

, Mashal said, that Hamas will not recognize Israel and supported Hamas suicide bombings saying it is "Palestinian resistance"
Resistance movement
A resistance movement is a group or collection of individual groups, dedicated to opposing an invader in an occupied country or the government of a sovereign state. It may seek to achieve its objects through either the use of nonviolent resistance or the use of armed force...

 reaction opposing "Israeli crimes". Former US President and 2002 Nobel Peace Prize
Nobel Peace Prize
The Nobel Peace Prize is one of the five Nobel Prizes bequeathed by the Swedish industrialist and inventor Alfred Nobel.-Background:According to Nobel's will, the Peace Prize shall be awarded to the person who...

 laureate Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter
James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr. is an American politician who served as the 39th President of the United States and was the recipient of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize, the only U.S. President to have received the Prize after leaving office...

 met with Mashal on April 21, 2008 and reached an agreement that Hamas would respect the creation of a Palestinian state in the West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

 and Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
thumb|Gaza city skylineThe Gaza Strip lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres wide, with a total area of...

 areas seized by Israel in the Six-Day War of 1967, provided that such a state is ratified by the Palestinian people in a referendum. Hamas later announced it would offer Israel a ten-year hudna
Hudna
Hudna is an Arabic term meaning a temporary "truce" or "armistice" as well as "calm" or "quiet", coming from a verbal root meaning "calm". It is sometimes translated as "cease-fire"...

("truce") if it returned to its 1967 borders and recognized all Palestinian refugees' "right of return." Israel did not respond to the offer. Later, on May 27, 2008, Mashal met the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei
Ali Khamenei
Ayatollah Seyed Ali Hoseyni Khāmene’i is the Supreme Leader of Iran and the figurative head of the Muslim conservative establishment in Iran and Twelver Shi'a marja...

, in Teheran and stated, "The Palestinian nation will continue its resistance despite all pressures and will not under any circumstances stop its jihad." Hamas stated that it does not feel bound by the "Road Map to Peace" promoted by the Diplomatic Quartet
Quartet on the Middle East
The Quartet on the Middle East, sometimes called the Diplomatic Quartet or Madrid Quartet or simply the Quartet, is a foursome of nations and international and supranational entities involved in mediating the peace process in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Quartet are the United Nations, the...

, since in Hamas' view Israel is not honoring its commitments to that 'road map'. Hamas rejects the establishment of a "Palestinian entity [...] with no true sovereignty, whose principal duty is to maintain Israel's security."

Prisoner swap



Mashal was involved in negotiating a prisoner exchange deal which released captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit
Gilad Shalit
Gilad Shalit is an Israeli – French citizen and Israel Defense Forces soldier. On 25 June 2006, he was captured inside Israel by Hamas militants in a cross-border raid via underground tunnels near the border with Gaza. The Hamas militants held him for over five years, until he was released on...

 in exchange for over 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israel. Shalit was seized inside Israel near the southern Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
thumb|Gaza city skylineThe Gaza Strip lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres wide, with a total area of...

 border by a coalition of Palestinian paramilitary groups, including Hamas, who had crossed the border through an underground tunnel near the Kerem Shalom
Kerem Shalom
Kerem Shalom is a kibbutz in the Eshkol Regional Council and a border crossing near the meeting of the Gaza Strip-Israel-Egypt borders.- Kibbutz :The kibbutz was founded in 1966 adjacent to the triborder area by members of Hashomer Hatzair...

 border crossing. On July 10, 2006, Mashal spoke authoritatively concerning the Israeli prisoner, stating Shalit was a prisoner of war
Prisoner of war
A prisoner of war or enemy prisoner of war is a person, whether civilian or combatant, who is held in custody by an enemy power during or immediately after an armed conflict...

 and demanding a prisoner swap. On October 18th, 2011, Shalit was released and handed over to Israel in exchange for 1,027 Palestinian prisoners.

On June 18, 2008, Israel announced a bilateral ceasefire
Ceasefire
A ceasefire is a temporary stoppage of a war in which each side agrees with the other to suspend aggressive actions. Ceasefires may be declared as part of a formal treaty, but they have also been called as part of an informal understanding between opposing forces...

 with Hamas which formally began on June 19, 2008. The agreement was reached after talks between the two camps were conducted with Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

ian mediators in Cairo
Cairo
Cairo , is the capital of Egypt and the largest city in the Arab world and Africa, and the 16th largest metropolitan area in the world. Nicknamed "The City of a Thousand Minarets" for its preponderance of Islamic architecture, Cairo has long been a centre of the region's political and cultural life...

. As part of the ceasefire, Israel has agreed to resume limited commercial shipping across its border with Gaza
Gaza
Gaza , also referred to as Gaza City, is a Palestinian city in the Gaza Strip, with a population of about 450,000, making it the largest city in the Palestinian territories.Inhabited since at least the 15th century BC,...

, barring any breakdown of the tentative peace deal, and Hamas hinted that it would discuss the release of Shalit. However, on July 29, 2008, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas , also known by the kunya Abu Mazen , has been the Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organisation since 11 November 2004 and became President of the Palestinian National Authority on 15 January 2005 on the Fatah ticket.Elected to serve until 9 January 2009, he unilaterally...

 voiced his strong opposition to the release of 40 Hamas members of the Palestinian parliament in exchange for Shalit. On October 2, 2009, after the swap of 20 Palestinian prisoners for a proof-of-life video, Khaled Mashal vowed to capture more soldiers.

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