Ex-Hamas chief Meshaal calls for protests, stronger action from Arab world in support of Gaza

Ex-Hamas chief Meshaal calls for protests, stronger action from Arab world in support of Gaza
Khaled Meshaal has called on Arabs and Muslims to "head to the streets" to protest Israel's ongoing attacks on Gaza.
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Meshaal said that Jordan must know its "responsibility" towards Palestine, due to their shared border [Getty]

Former Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal called for protests across the Muslim world on Friday in support of the Palestinians and for the peoples of neighbouring 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, who have have resided there for decades following mass expulsions by Zionist militias in the lead-up to the creation of Israel in 1948, in an event known as the Nakba.

Meshaal's 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 1,055 people have been killed and 5,000 injured in the densely populated coastal enclave.

Israel has carried out its fiercest assault on Gaza in 75 years, destroying residential buildings and infrastructure in the already-impoverished territory.

"To all scholars who teach jihad to all who teach and learn, this is a moment for the application (of theories)," Meshaal said.

(Reuters and The New Arab Staff)