Palestinians slam Hamas official for 'repugnant' anti-semitic comments
A senior member of Hamas has encouraged Palestinians across the globe to kill Jews, drawing outrage from both Palestinian and Israeli officials as well as a UN envoy.
In video from a speech to participants of weekly protests on Friday, Fathi Hamad, a member of the movement's top political body, can be seen calling on Palestinians across the globe to carry out attacks.
"If this siege is not undone, we will explode in the face of our enemies, with God's permission. The explosion is not only going to be in Gaza but also in the West Bank and abroad, God willing," Hamad said.
"But our brothers outside are preparing, trying to prepare, warming up."
He continued: "Seven million Palestinians outside, enough warming up, you have Jews with you in every place. You should attack every Jew possible in all the world and kill them."
Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the West Bank-based Palestine Liberation Organisation, which unlike Hamas has recognised Israel, condemned Hamad's comments.
"The just values of the Palestinian cause include love for freedom, justice and equality. The repugnant statement of Hamas leader Mr. Fathi Hamad about Jews doesn't represent any of them," he tweeted.
Prominent Palestinian civil rights activist Issa Amro also strongly condemned Hammad's comments, saying it was not part of "our tradition nor religion".
"No one should be targeted based on religion," he said.
Hamas have not issued an official response to the comments, but senior official Ahmed Yussuf has reportedly urged leader Ismail Haniyeh to stress that "our conflict is with the occupation army, and not Jews from all over the world," Israeli media reported.
Hamas unveiled a new version of its controversial founding charter in 2017, dropping anti-Semitic language and accepting 1967 borders.
United Nations envoy Nickolay Mladenov also condemned the comments, labelling them a "dangerous, repugnant and inciteful statement! It must to be clearly condemned by ALL."
Israel and Palestine Director at the Human Rights Watch Omar Shakir also slammed Hamad's words on Twitter, saying "calls to kill based on one's religion have no place in a freedom movement."
The Gaza Strip has been under a joint Israeli-Egyptian blockade since 2007, which critics say amounts to collective punishment of the coastal territory's two million residents.
Agencies contributed to this report.