Hamas co-founder Mahmoud al-Zahar told Britain’s Sky News that Israel has no right to exist, and denied firing “a single rocket” from civilian areas in the densely populated Gaza Strip.
He further boasted his terror group’s strategy was to target Israeli population centers.
Sky’s Middle East correspondent, Mark Stone, asked al-Zahar: “You are firing rockets and missiles from civilian areas here in Gaza at civilians in Israel,” he said. “That’s not acceptable, that’s a war crime.”
Al-Zahar dismissed the allegation that Hamas intentionally imperils Palestinians by using them as human shields. “No single rocket was sent from a civilian area. We [fired] most of the rockets from the border,” he told Stone.
“That’s not true, though, is it? Because we’ve seen video of rockets being fired from within the built-up area of Gaza City at Israeli communities,” Stone responded, to which Al-Zahar replied, “This is not against Israeli communities. This is against Israeli occupation. This is against Israeli aggression.”
Ample video evidence and corroboration even by anti-Israel human rights groups including Human Rights Watch clearly show Hamas routinely fires terror rockets out of civilian areas.
Look closely: This photo was taken right after Hamas launched a barrage of rockets at Israel from a residential area in Gaza. Look what's near the launch site: schools, a UN building, a health center, mosques, and dozens of apartment buildings.
Hamas puts everyone in danger. pic.twitter.com/dVPpUUJVy3
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) May 19, 2021
Al-Zahar lauded that Hamas’ “victory” in the 11-day conflict was striking civilian population centers in Israel.
“The new element is the degree of the resistance movement, particularly in Gaza, to attack the Israeli targets at very important points, including most of the overcrowded area in the civilian society. So for how long the Israeli will accept that, I think this is the main issue,” he said.
Al-Zahar answered “no” when asked if the State of Israel had a right to exist.
He said he believed Friday’s U.S. and Egyptian-brokered ceasefire would hold.
“Nobody on both sides is looking for escalation more than what happened before so I believe that it will continue,” he said.