Taliban Spokesman Said Tricked into Giving Interview with Israeli TV

Suhail Shaheen (C), spokesman for the Taliban in Qatar, speaks to people as he attends the Intra Afghan Dialogue talks in the Qatari capital Doha on July 8, 2019. - Dozens of powerful Afghans met with a Taliban delegation on July 8, amid separate talks between the US and the …
KARIM JAAFAR/AFP via Getty Images

The spokesman for the Taliban said he was tricked into giving an interview with Israel’s public broadcaster this week, and had never agreed to talk with an Israeli journalist.

Suhail Shaheen told Kan news the Taliban has no ties with the Gaza-ruling Hamas terror group. He also said the Taliban would “protect minorities,” including Zebulon Simantov, Afghanistan’s last Jew, whom he acknowledged he did not know.

The journalist, Roi Kais, admitted he did not reveal to Shaheen he was Israeli.

“We identified ourselves as the Kan news channel, but we didn’t stress that we are an Israeli media outlet,” Kais said according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

“Which TV are you?” Shaheen asked.

“Kan news. Kan news,” Kais answered.

Hours after the interview aired, after the item garnered attention over the Taliban’s surprise move agreeing to interview with an Israeli news network, Shaheen took to Twitter, writing: “I do many interviews with journalists every day after the falling of provincial centers of Afghanistan and the capital Kabul to the Islamic Emirate.”

“Some journalists maybe masquerading but I haven’t done interview with any one introducing himself he is from an Israeli media.”

The Taliban routinely speaks against Israel and Jews.

Despite threats to his life and having served prison sentences four times over his faith, the last remaining Jew Simantov said he’ll never leave his home.

“If I had left, there would have been no one to maintain the synagogue. I had the opportunity to leave for the US but wasn’t interested,” Simintov told the India-based WION network, according to a report Tuesday.


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