Former Hamas leader calls for day of jihad on Friday, and tells Muslims to ‘take to the streets’ in protest against Israel

Former Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal called for protests across the Muslim world on Friday in support of the Palestinians and for the peoples of neighboring countries to join the fight against Israel.

‘[We must] head to the squares and streets of the Arab and Islamic world on Friday,’ said Meshaal, who currently heads Hamas’s diaspora office, 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.

‘To all scholars who teach jihad… to all who teach and learn, this is a moment for the application (of theories).’

Jordan and Lebanon are home to the largest number of Palestinian refugees.

Khaled Meshaal, the former leader of Hamas, is pictured in October 2018 in Istanbul. He has called for a ‘Day of Jihad’ on Friday, in a statement released from Qatar, where he now lives

'Hamas does not represent Palestine,' reads a sign held at a pro-Palestine protest in Lima, Peru on Wednesday

‘Hamas does not represent Palestine,’ reads a sign held at a pro-Palestine protest in Lima, Peru on Wednesday

Meshaal’s call for a Friday 13th uprising was reiterated by Hamas itself, according to the Israeli-run, DC-based Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

MEMRI said that Hamas urged its supporters in Gaza, the West Bank and Israel to rise up.

‘We declare next Friday, ”The Friday of the Al-Aqsa Flood,” as a day of general mobilization in our Arab and Islamic world and among the free people of the world,’ the statement said. 

‘It is a day to rally support, offer aid, and participate actively. 

‘It is a day to expose the crimes of the occupation, isolate it, and foil all its aggressive schemes. 

‘It is a day to demonstrate our love for Palestine, Jerusalem, and Al-Aqsa.

‘It is a day for sacrifice, heroism, and dedication, and to earn the honor of defending the first Qibla of Muslims, the third holiest mosque, and the ascension of the trusted Messenger.’

The terrorist group said all should back their ‘just cause’.

‘We call upon the free people of the world to mobilize in solidarity with our Palestinian people and in support of their just cause and legitimate rights to freedom, independence, return, and self-determination,’ the group said.

Smoke plumes billow during Israeli air strikes in Gaza City on October 12, 2023

Smoke plumes billow during Israeli air strikes in Gaza City on October 12, 2023

Rescuers retrieve bodies from house targeted by Israeli airstrike

Rescuers retrieve bodies from house targeted by Israeli airstrike

Qatar is working with the United States to try and establish a line of communication with Hamas to try and negotiate for the release of hostages, a top U.S. official said on Wednesday.

John Kirby, spokesman for the National Security Council, was asked at an earlier briefing whether the administration is in contact directly or indirectly with Hamas about securing their release, and whether he could describe their condition.

‘Now, where they are and in what condition, no,’ said Kirby.

He said the White House does not know if they are being kept together, and whether they are being moved around. 

‘Sadly we don’t know. And that makes efforts very, very difficult.’

He also told ABC White House Correspondent Mary Alice Parks he is ‘not aware of any specific proof of life on any individual hostage.’

Kirby added that the U.S. is in discussion with countries that have lines of communications with Hamas, such as Qatar, to discuss working to free the hostages. Several former senior Hamas leaders live in Qatar.

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 950 people have been killed and 5,000 injured in the crowded coastal enclave.

On Saturday, Hamas gunmen from the Gaza Strip rampaged through parts of southern Israel, in the deadliest Palestinian militant attack in Israel’s history.